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Tech Based Hubs

Barbara Steele here, IEI policy intern, this time with a look at how Google Fiber jump-started an innovation ecosystem led by a public-private partnership.

In 2012, the mayors of Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO worked with many different sectors including neighborhoods, schools, libraries, hospitals, health providers, arts, businesses, and more to develop a “playbook” for leveraging their gigabit network (

Following are some of the areas they focused on to help their region develop into a tech hub. All can reasonably be used as models by current and future Google Fiber sites around the nation, including the Triangle:

Education: Outfit a handful of classrooms for demonstration projects that fully integrate high-speed fiber technology into daily lessons, equipping students with the most innovative educational resources.

Telehealth Pilots: Work with hospitals and clinics to provide diagnostic services to people at home and at work, potentially increasing the quality of care for some patients while simultaneously reducing ER wait times and hospital readmissions.

Testbeds for entrepreneurs: Build a technology incubator that invites entrepreneurs to gather in a fiber-rich environment and work together to enhance their current businesses and develop new apps.

Global Roundtables: Conduct a series of global telepresence roundtables to establish Kansas City as an emerging global leader in the new digital economy and accelerate economic development and innovation.

Enhance Convention Center technology: Make our convention center one of the most tech-friendly gathering places in the country.

Develop a robust IT workforce: Work with and train Kansas Citians to become leading IT professionals throughout the US and the world.

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