The first neighborhood to receive Google Fiber ultra high-speed broadband has spawned a grass roots startup community. CNET's Marguerite Reardon visited Kansas City and took a tour of the Startup Village.
State Line Road
The Kansas City Startup Village runs right along State Line Road, where one side of the street is in Kansas City, Missouri and the other side is in Kansas City, Kansas.
Leap2, a mobile search company, was among the first companies to put roots down in Google first fiberhood. Tyler Van Winkle, director of product development and marketing for Leap2, says that the 1Gbps service is a nice perk, but the real value in Google Fiber is the fact that it's brought local startups together.
One house in the Startup Village is home to four startups all sharing Google's 1Gbps broadband connection. The close quarters make it easy for startups to collaborate and trouble shoot with each other.
Chris Baran stands outside of the Homes for Hackers house on State Line Road, which allows hackers to come stay at the house rent-free for three months, where they're expected to use Google's 1Gbps fiber service to develop their startup.
Typical upload and download speeds on Google's fiber network range between 800-900 Mbps with an Ethernet hard line plugged into the service. And users can usually get around 150 Mbps using indoor Wi-Fi access connected to the Google Fiber broadband service.
Ben Barreth liquidated his retirement account to buy the Homes for Hackers house. He founded the Homes for Hackers program to bring entrepreneurs to Kansas City to develop their startups. He provides accommodations free of charge for three months and also pays the $70 a month fee for the 1Gbps broadband service.
Handprint co-founder hard at work using Google Fiber
Mike Demarais, 21, a native of the Boston, Mass., area, was the first resident of the Homes for Hackers program back in October. He moved back to Kansas City in January with three other people to form the 3D printing software company Handprint.