On May 16-18, 2016, hundreds of civic and technology leaders from more than 75 cities around the country gathered in Kansas City to learn how to “seize the gigabit opportunity” at the second annual Gigabit City Summit.
Kansas City’s acquisition of Google Fiber’s gigabit Internet in the winter of 2011 positioned the city as a tech leader and America’s first Google Fiber city and first gigabit city. Google selected Kansas City to launch its Fiber product because of the city’s strong infrastructure and supportive, business-friendly environment. Now, that same community is turning its supportive environment outward by educating civic leaders around the United States about gigabit Internet.
According to Startland News, during the first Gigabit City Summit, Kansas City gave tips on how to best utilize Google Fiber. Now that more gigabit cities are cropping up and the concept of a “smart city” is becoming more broad, there’s much more to explore than just the Google Fiber brand. This became clear at the most recent Gigabit City Summit, where topics discussed included smart city infrastructure, civic technology, digital inclusion and how gigabit Internet can benefit communities.
The triple-digit turnout at this year’s Gigabit City Summit demonstrates Kansas City’s position as a leader in entrepreneurship and technology. “I think it’s important for people here to realize how many people look to Kansas City for answers,” Aaron Deacon, manager of KC Digital Drive, said in an interview with Startland News. “And it’s not because we have all the answers, but we do have a lot of experience asking the questions and thinking about the issues. Having an engaged entrepreneurial and tech community is a critical piece of that.”