Google Fiber Reshapes Kansas City
While its People Try Very Hard to Rewrite its Future
The January February 2015 COOK Report is a detailed study of Google Fiber in Kansas City in continued follow up to my June 2014 visit.
By means of an interview with George Lewis Walker and the republication of an unknown, but very important memoir, on the creation of the Telehub network by Leon Dixon, it examines the outstanding effort of Knasas City's African American community to create technolgy opportunity for its youth. It goes on to examine how the political structures of the two Kansas Citys worked with the president of the local Social Media Club to manipulate the registration of "fiberhoods" via crowd funding registratuon fees for residents who could never afford to become Google Fiber customers. It describes the magnified digital divide brought by gigabit fiber into the twin city metro area of Kansas and Missouri where the politicians realize they need to play lip service to the problems by means of an effort coordinated through the president of the social media club, and the deputy directory of the public library and finally through a third organization - Connecting for Good (CFG) that specializes in wi-fi connections and free training in use of refurbished computers and the internet in the areas where the residents cannot afford the $120 a month cost of Google Fiber plus TV.
Working with the Library, CFG is attempting to build a complex social service infrastructure in the heart of red state America where there is no monetary support for many needed social service activities let alone those that would help Internet have nots. One of our most important findings is the extent to which, what funding does exist, is dependent on zero sum tax incentives where wealthy developers in return for using federal programs to make bank credits available, gain large tax writeoffs in return. An example of the overall problem is that the highly successful four decade old duBois Learning Center programs were generally unknown to the area's current "leadership" as symbolized by the Kauffman Foundation. In addition to a digital divide, this COOK Report Issue shows the extent of the communications divide that exists in the two Kansas Cities where, absent any real long term coordinating vision, the Public Library and CFG are scrambling for money to apply piecemeal to a wide range of problems. The programs of the Kansas City Chapter of LISC in our opinion symbolize the worst parts of the deplorable situation.
or click here to download the entire issue as a 12 meg pdf.
A Practical Navigator for the Internet Economy
We re now in our twenty third year of publication. (Our first issue was April 1992.) We publish 6 times a year - long in depth reports on subjects of intense personal intertest. Meanwhile our most important revenue producing operation is the offering of a private subscription only forum now in its eleventh year. The Forum is a mail list called the Architecture and Economics of IP Networks. It is a community of interest where more than 100 members discuss issues and trade ideas. I do not screen posts in advance. Foir more informatrion see the menu item "Business Model and Mail List Policy."
Some of the topics we explore:
- economic framework for thinking about technology
- fiber as economic infrastructure
- change from PSTN to all IP over fiber
- business models- domestic and global
- green IT, mobility, wireless
- new carrier models
- community fiber
- enterprise fiber & NRENs