"Greensboro needs this badly, whether via Google, or some other means."
Friend speaks my mind.
An email from a local guy who does business on the internet at industrial scale (published with permission):
It looks more and more like Google is working toward becoming an Internet Service Provider, or, more interestingly, putting lines in the ground to allow line sharing with other service providers for a small fee (but preventing said line-sharing monopoly service providers from extorting more money from Google for "enhanced content delivery service".)
This is interesting because it appears Google may be looking at implementing the 1996 Telecom Act line sharing model used in this country to very successfully enable CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier) competition in phone service - which increased choice and significantly lowered prices for phone service (for consumers and businesses) until it was gutted by the prior presidential administration. Hence our current situation, and, we grant the incumbent near-monopoly providers effectively rent-free easements and public rights-of-way for their (unshared) lines.
This line sharing model is used in Europe, Japan, Korea, Scandinavia, all the places that are leaving us behind by orders of magnitude in terms of percent of broadband penetration X speed of connection.
I think people will be shocked at how quickly the installation in Kansas City will transform that local economy. You can bet that a bunch of high-wage paying companies and entrepreneurs are today sizing up the area.
It's hard to see anything else that comes close to the "value creation per dollar invested" ROI of symmetrical gigabit broadband service. Greensboro needs this badly, whether via Google, or some other means.