Digital Infrastructure

Ensuring community access to gigabit fiber.


of Rally-period Fiberhoods qualified

neighborhood representatives reached


After the initial launch of Google’s high-speed fiber network, local governments in Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan., should continue to work toward the installation of a comprehensive broadband and wireless technology network to meet broad community needs and support economic progress.

Local governments play an important role in supporting universal access by ensuring that digital infrastructure is in place throughout the community. By fully developing the digital infrastructure, communities can offer a higher quality of life and more economically competitive business environment.

Cities and counties across the nation have supported installation of high-speed fiber and wireless networks to ensure that residents have access to the Internet for education, entertainment, employment and other benefits.  Implementation of fiber-to-the-home networks open up new opportunities for KCK and KCMO to extend the technology and continue to build a digital infrastructure.

Action Steps

  • The two cities should develop tools to measure broadband adoption and include digital infrastructure in new and revised area, land-use and comprehensive plans, recognizing the importance of these investments to the community’s quality of life and economic future.
  • The two cities should consider adoption of economic development policies to support strategic broadband and wireless investments in priority corridors and development areas.
  • Identify community locations where hardware, software and support services are needed to enable residents to gain access to technology and technical services.
  • Work with utilities and analyze use of the public rights of way for fiber and wireless deployment.
  • Utilize the infrastructure in new ways to engage citizens in every aspect of community life and decision-making.
  • Integrate IT staff resources into local government departmental systems and program planning to ensure that technology infrastructure and capacities are part of all municipal investments.
  • Adopt technology solutions for public safety that support information sharing among first responders and the community to create safer, healthier neighborhoods and business areas.
  • Ensure that public and private digital infrastructure investments are maximized and strategically aligned with community goals.


  • Worked with Kansas State Broadband Initiative and Missouri Broadband Now to coordinate measurement activities within the KC metro area.
  • Convened local Google municipalities to begin developing ways to include them in KC Digital Drive efforts.
  • Convened all local municipalities to share strategies for negotiating with Google and/or other providers for fiber-to-the-home contracts.
  • Began mapping of broadband infrastructure and resources in the region with an emphasis on backbone and next-gen network capacity not provided by state initiatives.
  • Establishing best practices for laying the fiber conduit as part of public works and development initiatives; for right of way and other public asset allocation to support high bandwidth deployment.
  • Working on a regional strategy to support local content distribution networks (CDNs) and peering arrangements beneficial to region’s citizens (not just carriers).

Projects in action

MO Goes Tech

Organizations are invited to apply for the first MO Goes Tech cohort, and each selected organization will receive a $2,000 microgrant that includes $1,000 for a stipend for the staff trainer and $1,000 is unrestricted funds to boost digital service capacity.

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Comeback KC Ventures

Accelerating Innovation to Jumpstart KC’s Comeback from COVID-19 – Comeback KC Ventures is funded through an 18-month SPRINT Challenge grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and administered by KC Digital Drive and the UMKC Innovation Center.

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Connected Roads and Vehicles: A Next Generation Mobility Workshop

This workshop is intended to identify project opportunities that connect leading edge academic research with the immediate problems facing local and state government, private industry, and entrepreneurs working in transportation and mobility infrastructure and solutions. It is the second in a series designed to meet future mobility challenges and opportunities, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The inaugural workshop in Fall 2019 included a multi-disciplinary discussion of societal trends and needs.

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Defining Digital Discrimination

NDIA defines digital redlining as “discrimination by internet service providers in the deployment, maintenance, or upgrade of infrastructure or delivery of services. The denial of services has disparate impacts on people in certain areas of cities or regions, most frequently on the basis of income, race, and ethnicity.” KC Digital Drive was recently invited to […]

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