Kansas City Gigabit City Summit Conference

Hello Nevada County! My name is Nick Katzman. I’m the new Neighborhood Coordinator for Spiral, and you’ll be hearing from me often here on our blog.

I recently had the pleasure of joining the Spiral management team on a trip to Kansas City where we attended the Gigabit City Summit. It was a 3 day long adventure of exploring the city and learning about current and emerging Gigabit Cities. We also had the opportunity to network with innovative teams like ours that are in various stages of building and implementing fiber optic networks all across the country.

Heavy fog and rain covered the city as people from across the country gathered in the Student Union at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. The top floor of that impressive building was abuzz with introductions as folks exchanged business cards and received conference itineraries.

Welcoming us to the conference were past and current Mayors of Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas who told us of the dramatic changes their communities have experienced since becoming the first Google fiber cities. The economic development of Kansas City was clear to us as we toured the bustling city streets. Tech startups and incubator projects established themselves among the commercial and residential districts; utilizing the tremendous bandwidth of Google Fiber. By the way, if you ever find yourself in Kansas City, you need to eat at Q39. It was hands-down the best barbecue I’ve ever tasted.

At the conference, I bounced between lecture halls and conference rooms searching for strategies on different ways to utilize the effectiveness of a fiber network on a community level. The Spiral team and I listened to a variety of city officials, engineers, lawyers, and project managers describing what it takes to successfully supervise a large scale fiber optic buildout. This information was important to the management team, but I was more intrigued by the presentations regarding how customers could use a gigabit connection and what tools could be made available to them.

One of the highlights for me was hearing from Alan Fitzpatrick, the co-founder of an organization that constructed a fiber optic network in Charlotte, North Carolina called Charlotte Hearts Gigabit. His company hosts regular classes on using electronic devices effectively and how to install and use important apps and software. They even hold hackathons on a regular basis during which computer programmers collaborate intensively on creating new software over a brief period of time.

I would love your feedback on whether Spiral should implement these kinds of classes and events locally. I encourage you to respond to this post and let me know if you think they would be worthwhile in Nevada County and if you would be interested in attending.

I picked up some great ideas from this informative conference which I plan to implement as we move towards initiating the first stages of our network build. If you have not already done so, please register at www.spiral.com/fiber to discover where your residence is located in relation to our coverage maps and also to receive email updates regarding our progress. As always, thank you for your support!

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14 comments to Kansas City Gigabit City Summit Conference

  • Brian Foster

    Hello Nick, that was a great post and sneak peak into the “fiber future” of Nevada County. I am 100% on boatd with this project and excitement is a huge understatement.

    As far as whether or not we shoukd host such community engagements, I for one say absolutely! I am a full time telecommuter and would love to both contribute and learn from others in the area. I have a rather extensive technical background so anything that brings us together in a collaborative effort to get behind this project I am all in. Please keep us posted on the progress and should you find yourselves in need of anything Im definitely available and willing.

    Thanks,
    Brian

  • nick

    Thanks for the feedback, Brian! it has been a long, hard fought battle to acquire funding and overcome the obstacles created by other ISPs in Nevada County and the glacial pace of our state government. We are so excited to put all that behind us and we know we couldn’t have done it without our enthusiastic community here who bombarded the California Public Utilities Commission with emails supporting our project. We are in the process of moving to our new offices in the Nevada City Tech Center, and once we are settled in and we have begun laying fiber we will test out some different events and see how many participants we get.

    I appreciate you making yourself available to us! We have starting gathering ‘Neighborhood Champions’ throughout the county; folks who are willing to spread the word about our new network and encourage people to register online at http://www.spiral.com/fiber to see where they fall on the coverage maps and receive email updates regarding our progress. If you are interested in assuming that role for us, I would be more then happy to send you a package with informational cards that you can give to your neighbors, friends and family to get them on board with our project. We are doing our best to inform everyone before we start building because the grant money we received fully pays for everyone’s cable installation from the road to their houses, so long as they sign up and make a deposit at their first opportunity. If our road crews pass up a house because they didn’t commit to our service, the homeowners will need to pay a significant fee to get the crew back out for installation.

    Thanks again for your response!

    -Nick

  • Andrew

    Hi Nick,

    How can you be contacted? Can you post your email address here?

    Thanks,
    Andrew

  • nick

    Certainly, you can reach me at nick@spiral.com

  • David

    Thanks for communicating Nick,
    Yes, sessions as you suggest would be good. I use remote capabilities to upload and download photography and videos that I produce, sometimes taking many hours to upload especially. The gigabit connections would tremendously shorten that time and make me as competitive as I was in Silicon Valley with businesses there. I would like to explore real time streaming capabilities for events held locally. This is something I could offer right now with these tremendous speeds.
    Thanks, David

  • DeeDee

    Hi Nick!

    I have been following Sprial’s progress and delighted to see accelerated momentum toward the company’s mission and vision!

    February of 2015, I relocated from San Francisco to a “RuralVille” location outside the Nevada City city limits… Internet service? Sure, I could get it, however ONLY via satellite, after several trees were removed and a dish mounted 50′ up a tree…then only 10GB of data per month, at an outrageous cost! I’m sure my rant is merely preaching to the choir, yet necessary to demonstrate my joy for Sprial!

    Best, DeeDee

  • Ian

    Hi Nick! Any updates since your last post? Any plans to ramp up the amount of info and communication from Spiral about this project?

  • Jay Evans

    Any news? We are excited to start seeing some fiber go in the ground. Ive got my trenching shovel ready! Just tell me where to dig! 😉

  • Tom Rodgers

    Hello Nick.I am in zone a and have registered on your website. You mentioned above about a deposit $. When will info about that deposit be available and how much will it be? Thanks

  • Brian Foster

    What is the current status of this project? Seems the updates have slowed to a crawl. Hopefully no news is at least good news? Thanks!

    Brian

  • nick

    We appreciate your enthusiasm Deedee! We certainly understand how frustrating it is to have limited internet options, and we are moving as quickly as we can to get you quality service!

  • nick

    Hey Ian,

    We will be sending out regular updates regarding the network build progress once it is underway, however at the moment there isn’t much news to share as we need to finish up the environmental impact reports and obtain the county permits before we move forward. Make sure you are registered at http://www.spiral.com/fiber to receive emails from us!

  • nick

    Hi Tom,

    The deposit for service will be $360, which pays for the in-home wiring and installation as well as a state of the art modem with wifi capabilities and a back up battery for the modem.

  • nick

    Brian,

    we are completing the environmental impact reports and obtaining the necessary construction permits from the county. We plan to break ground on Zone A and begin constructing the network in October of this year

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