With this announcement, we have active projects underway in all five of the states we set our sights on back in August 2022. Clark County covers much of the Las Vegas metro area, and is just the first of GFiber’s projects in the area. We’re already working on engineering planning in Clark County, and construction will get underway towards the end of this year with the goal of serving our first customers by mid-2025.
If you are in the Las Vegas metro area and want to keep up with what’s happening in Clark County and beyond, you can sign up here for updates on construction and service availability. We’re betting big in Nevada.
Posted by Ashley Church, West Region General Manager
Google Fiber partners with organizations working to make digital equity a reality in the communities we serve. KC Digital Drive was mobilized to combat the digital divide for underserved residents in Kansas City. Brynna Darley of KC Digital Drive shares the organization’s work towards the region’s digital transformation with an emphasis on digital choice and dignity, as well as support broadband connectivity and digital inclusion.
KC Digital Drive is an organization that focuses on civic engagement in digital inclusion and emerging technology. To do so, we offer several programs to help combat the digital divide in the bi-state Kansas City region. We leverage the talents and resources available to us in the surrounding community. Notably, the last two years of our collaboration with Google Fiber found us on the receiving end of 400 Chromecasts.
Wanting to make the best of this opportunity, Peter Smith, an AmeriCorps Vista member working with KC Digital Drive, got creative and developed a new educational workshop that illustrated the power of switching from cable TV to streaming services (like added flexibility and more money in your pocket each month). He developed a curriculum and connected with partner organizations to assess the demand for this new Cut the Cord (CTC) Workshop.
Each one-hour session focuses on:
Setting up and using Chromecast
Navigating the streaming landscape of free and paid services
Finding reliable home internet at speeds suitable for their streaming needs
Since introducing this curriculum in April of 2023, we’ve distributed more than 325 Chromecasts donated by GFiber, across 19 events with nine different partner organizations, including Phoenix Family, The Black Family Technology Awareness Association, and Jewish Family Services.
In October of last year, we integrated the workshops into our class schedule at the Digital Services and Support Center at the LAMP campus — a digital commons for training and support in Kansas City historic east side that serves low-income neighborhoods and residents.
One workshop attendee, Rodolfo ‘Rudy’ Mesa, is a perfect example of how transformative one device can be. Mesa is 82 years old, living in Kansas City but originally from Wyoming.
“Living on a fixed income, cable is a cost just like anything else, like a cellphone,” he said. He learned about our Cut the Cord workshops through outreach from our Digital Skills Trainer, Carol Meyers.
Mesa shared that being a nerdy type of guy, access to streaming content and entertainment with his new Chromecast allows him to explore interests of history, nature, civilization, different animals and people, and the planet and science.
We have been so pleased to see the demand for these workshops grow as our partners and community engage with options that boost equity and understanding of the technology and digital skills that fuel such a big part of daily life. We know that cable subscriptions can be expensive, and we are delighted to see these free devices help hundreds of households save money each month.
To learn more about Cut the Cord workshop and the digital inclusion ecosystem in Kansas City, subscribe to our Kansas City Regional Digital Inclusion Newsletter and visit us online at kcdigitaldrive.org.
Posted by Brynna Darley, State Digital Inclusion Coordinator
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This news of the next generation of Wi-Fi definitely made waves at CES 2024. The event buzzed with announcements of lots of new devices that support Wi-Fi 7 — from smartphones, to smart home devices, to more innovative devices — the industry has begun gearing up to embrace the power of Wi-Fi 7. Google Fiber is no exception — we’re excited about the Wi-Fi Alliance’s certification of Wi-Fi 7 because it opens the door to even more multi-gig speeds and reduced latency over Wi-Fi networks.
The biggest innovation with Wi-Fi 7 is Multi-Link Operation (MLO), which allows packets to be sent over multiple frequencies simultaneously. Prior generations of Wi-Fi only used one frequency band at a time.This means that one device which supports Wi-Fi 7 can talk to an access point over multiple radios and frequency bands at the same time.
Wi-Fi 7 devices can select from either a 2.4, 5, or 6 GHz band and are able to choose the Wi-Fi band that offers the most efficient and reliable path to the router. The result is lower latency and improved reliability, resulting in a better experience for internet users.
We know that great wireless internet is key to our customers’ in-home experience, so we spend a lot of time working on making it better (even when it’s already good). In 2023, we deployed Wi-Fi 6E routers with tri-band connectivity, built to handle more devices with fewer slowdowns.
Our focus and commitment to delivering speed to the home and in the home is exactly why we’re including a Wi-Fi 7 router for GFiber Labs 20 Gig customers. Wi-Fi 7 is a longer-term solution, if you’re thinking about purchasing a new smartphone, TV, tablet, computer, or other devices in 2024, you may want to consider whether they are Wi-Fi 7 compatible. You can have the latest high-powered router but the compatibility of your Wi-Fi devices also impacts your online experience. Our device guide can help determine Wi-Fi compatibility for your devices.
CES exhibitors unveiled cool new devices and products that support Wi-Fi 7 and are coming soon. Dell introduced two new laptops — the Dell XPS 16 laptop and the Dell Alienware M15 R2 gaming laptop, which are expected to be released in Q1 '24. Samsung announced its Galaxy S24 Ultra smartphone, and Acer announced a new gaming router; the Wi-Fi 7 Predator Connect X7 5G CPE, which offers dual connectivity (an ethernet network and 5G service).
Wi-Fi Alliance’s certification of Wi-Fi 7 ushers in a host of new possibilities, and GFiber is committed to making sure that our customers can harness the speed of their internet. Expect more from us soon to help make your in-home internet even faster.
Posted by Ishan Patel, Product Manager
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As Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaches, we are reminded of the ongoing pursuit for equity, justice, and the civil rights leader’s legacy and vision of a world with equal access to opportunities. Google Fiber aspires to be a part of this dream, by helping to bridge the digital divide and foster inclusivity in our increasingly connected world.
Everyone deserves fast, reliable internet at an accessible price, and the ability to put that internet connection to use - to connect to opportunity. We’re grateful to work with many organizations across the country that put that principle to work every day, helping their clients and constituents get more out of their lives, both online and beyond.
Here are a few ways our incredible community partners are marking this important day across the country:
Kansas City, Kansas: The Metropolitan Community College Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Luncheon, provides 5 MCC recipients with a full-tuition scholarship for one year.
Atlanta, Georgia: 2024 MLK Days of Service and the MLK Sunday Supper are events to get the local community volunteering for projects that support 50 nonprofits and schools. This week, volunteers from the GFiber team served at C.H.O.I.C.E.S. Mobile Food Pantry in Atlanta, GA, packed meal bags and prepared for meal distribution.
Research Triangle Area (Raleigh-Durham), North Carolina: United Way of the Greater Triangle’s MLK Day of Service supports a full day of health programming at the Boys & Girls Club Raleigh.
Charlotte, North Carolina: YMCA of Greater Charlotte’s 30th Annual MLK Holiday Breakfast celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The GFiber local team will also volunteer in a MLK day of service at Samaritans Feet.
GFiber is proud to be a small part of these efforts, and others, working towards a more equitable and just world.
Of course, there is still more work to be done. We will continue to push forward to make the internet more accessible and to help others harness the power and opportunity of the internet. You can help too! One small way to act right now — the Affordable Connectivity Program helps make high speed internet available to millions of US households through a $30 a month subsidy, but this program will end in April 2024 unless Congress acts to allocate additional funding. There is a bill before Congress to extend funding for this critical program. Take a moment to let your Congresspeople add your voice on the Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act of 2024 to keep that connection strong for everyone.
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Posted by Jess George, Head of Digital Equity & Community Impact