Good ol' Kansas City, Kansas, was at the center of the electronic universe today when Google announced that KCK would be the first place to receive its Fast Network.
That's great. Even though the city - where John grew up and where I currently live - has been in the midst of an economic boom over the last decade, KCK could still use some good news. It's a city divided - everything east of I-635 is thriving, everything west of that line is run-down and depressed. A lot of it has to do with history. A lot of it has to do with race. A lot of it has to do with politics.
The news of Google bringing its Fast Network here could pull those two sides closer together, which would be terrific.
But I'm dubious about one thing, and it's this claim that the new internet service will be 100 times faster than current broadband service.
Really, Google? A hundred times faster? How can that be literally possible?
I remember the days when internet was dial-up. I remember sometimes waiting three, four, five minutes for a page to load. By the end of dial-up service, internet speeds were down to, I don't know, fifteen-second load times.
But in the broadband world, I can click on a link and I'm at that page almost instantaneously.
Is instant not fast enough for some people?
I haven't seen a single article about this announcement that questions the veracity of this "100 times faster" claim. But I would think common sense would come into play a little bit. If Google said, "Internet speeds twice as fast," then maybe I could get behind that. What kind of super-surfing are people doing? "I can't wait a full second for this page to load! I need it in one one-hundredth of a second, dammit!"
With speeds this fast, Google better be able to take me to a page before I even think about clicking on the link.