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Kansas City was the first to get Google Fiber. Now we’re helping others figure out how to use gigabit broadband.

This week, nearly 200 delegates from 34 cities across the U.S. and Canada are expected to descend upon the Gigabit City Summit. Organized by KC Digital Drive, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting technology solutions for a better Kansas City, the conference positions the KC region as a leader in the conversation of how cities can leverage highspeed, 1Gbps broadband for social and economic impact.

Billed as the “must-attend conference for smart cities,” the Gigabit City Summit is attracting an audience remarkable in its geographic and political diversity. In addition to broadband telecom professionals, the audience is heavily comprised of government and economic development officials from cities that either have or want gigabit fiber-optic networks such as the one Google Fiber launched here in 2012. Thirteen of the cities are sending delegations of four attendees or more, with future-Google-Fiber city Portland, Oregon, sending a party of 16.

“These are people hungry to hear about how Kansas City grew into our ‘gigabit city’ status,” says KC Digital Drive director Aaron Deacon. “We plan to not only tell that story but also give the participants working plans to take back to their communities to make sure they’re getting the most out of the gig.”

The lineup for the conference features a blend of KC-based civic and nonprofit stalwarts, nationally recognized technology experts, and regional and national community champions seeking to use gigabit connectivity to impact people’s lives. The conference kicks off Tuesday morning with an address from KCMO and KCK mayorsSly James and Mark Holland, followed by a keynote from Blair Levin, architect of the National Broadband Plan.

From there, it’s two and a half days of exploring the ways in which Kansas City and other metros are using ultra-highspeed connections to drive economic development, lessen the digital divide, empower education and build apps that will change the way we live.

“If all goes well this year, we really think the Gigabit City Summit will raise Kansas City’s profile in the global tech community,” Deacon says.

Highlights of Interest:

  • The opportunity to meet and gain perspectives from leaders from other citiesacross the nation facing the challenges and opportunities presented by the gig, similar to what Kansas City experienced with Google Fiber
  • Keynote speeches by Blair Levin (architect of the National Broadband Plan),Susan Crawford (Barack Obama’s former Special Assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy), Boyd Cohen (international smart cities expert) and former KCK mayor Joe Reardon.
  • An Education track designed especially for teachers interested in technology featuring U.S. Dept of Ed Tech Director Richard Culatta.
  • A local tech showcase of 20 entrepreneurs, software developers and nonprofits using gigabit technology to make awesome things.
  • Interactive workshops designed to guide participants from other cities through the community visioning processes Kansas City used to develop its Playbookfor technology evolution.
  • Diverse perspectives from around the broadband industry, including representatives from Cox Communications, Juniper Networks, Bear Communications, Google, as well as industry analysts.
  • A guided tour of Kansas City tech hotspots like Think Big Partners, the Google Fiber Space, the Sprint Accelerator and the KC Startup Village.

The Gigabit City Summit puts Kansas City on the forefront of a global technology debate. Contact us now to gain access to the conference and arrange interviews with speakers and delegates. Call Jason Harper at 816-695-8770 or

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