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Around the Region

Google picks Kansas to host network

By Hiawatha Bray
Globe Staff / March 31, 2011

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Boston, eat your heart out. Google Inc. won’t be building its state-of-the-art fiber optic data network here, or any place else in Massachusetts. The giant Internet search company revealed yesterday that Kansas City, Kan., has captured the prize.

“Our goal was to find a location where we could build efficiently, make an impact on the community, and develop relationships with local government and community organizations,’’ wrote Milo Medin, Google’s vice president of access services, in a posting on the company’s blog. “We’ve found this in Kansas City.’’

Kansas City, Kan., is a suburb of Kansas City, Mo., and is home to about 145,000 people.

The news will come as a disappointment to civic leaders in the 1,100 communities across America that applied for the chance to host the new network starting last February, when Google announced its plan to build it. Boston, Quincy, Worcester, and Newburyport were among the Massachusetts cities and towns that had hoped to attract the project.

Google intends to pay for building the network, which is supposed to deliver data to homes and businesses at speeds of up to 1 billion bits per second. But the company hasn’t revealed how much it will cost users to subscribe. Google plans to study how people and companies use such an advanced network to help it develop new services. Google is also betting that if the Kansas City network is a hit, it will goad the nation’s major telecom companies to upgrade their existing networks.