Olathe officials have approved an agreement that paves the way for Google's super-fast Internet service to be installed in the southern Johnson County community.
The Olathe City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the Google Fiber agreement, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/15pTwKM ).
"We're excited for what this means to our community, and we look forward to . flipping the switch," Mayor Michael Copeland said.
Google announced it would launch Google Fiber in the Kansas City area two years ago. The California-based search engine company began home installations in the area in October, but so far only a handful of neighborhoods in Kansas City, Kan., have been able to tap into its lines.
Google Fiber's top speeds offer downloads 100 times faster than most U.S. home service and uploads 1,000 times quicker than the norm.
In the Kansas City area, Google Fiber has been offering packages for $120 a month under two-year contracts that come with cable-like TV programming and Internet hookups capable of pushing data at rates of 1 gigabit per second. Customers can also get relatively slow broadband free for seven years after paying $300 for installation.
The Olathe deal is similar to other deals in the Kansas City area. The deal gives Olathe 5 percent of gross receipts generated by Google selling the service in the Johnson County suburb, which has about 128,000 residents. The agreement also promises free 1-gigabit-per-second connections to up to four public facilities for up to 10 years.
The Olathe deal agreement also holds Google to the same permitting process as other utilities, which could help Olathe avoid problems that came up when other area cities had to extend expedited permitting and other promises made to Google to its competitors, including Time Warner Cable and AT&T.
"It was very important for us to be able to spell out their responsibilities as clearly as possible," said Ron Shaver, Olathe's deputy city attorney. "We do not want to treat Google differently, or more favorably, than we would any other entity. We also want to make sure it's good value for our taxpayers."