Google is installing ultra-fast Internet (1,000 mbps!) for homes, businesses, libraries and schools in Kansas City. The project promises "100 times the possibilities" for health, jobs, culture and education. But some districts might be left disproportionately offline.
Our community will not be divided into fiberhoods nor split by any line imagined upon us that denies the interconnectedness of Kansas City as a metro-area nor our loving responsibility for one another as citizens and members of the greater brotherhood of humanity.
We have watched the Google Fiber pre-registration process unfold with great sadness as it made visible Kansas City's old issue of racial separation. Block by block, Kansas City's polarized demographics are reflected, for whatever reason, by participation in Google's experimental planning method. The result is that the vast majority of Kansas City's predominantly African American neighborhoods are on track for exclusion from the Google Fiber service.
For example, Saint Teresa's Academy will get the nation's fastest Internet for free. Three and a half miles east, on the other side of Troost, the faculty at Martin Luther King Middle School will not be able to order the same service even for a fee. Google Fiber's response would be, "We do not serve people in your part of town." Unintentional as it is, this is our contemporary segregation of public accommodations.
But if we refuse to be divided, metro-wide we have met the sum of all goals Google Fiber has set for us. Kansas City has demonstrated that there is market share enough to support the installation costs of Google Fiber infrastructure for the entire area. The Heart of America will not be broken into pieces. We choose infrastructure for equality. We choose one Kansas City.