The advent of this exciting new technology Google Fiber set to launch in the Greater Kansas City Area is destined to transform Internet connectivity for the next decade. However as a community it stands to widen the already vast digital divide that exists in Kansas City, MO. Historically Troost Avenue has been the racial and socioeconomic dividing line in Kansas City. We have a profound opportunity to do something exceptional in our day and time that will transform the lives of children in Kansas City’s East Side for generations. This requires all involved to be sensitive to the concerns and strive to answer the question, of “How not why?”
As a community the Historic East Neighborhoods Coalition, Kansas City Public Schools, Southeast Coalition, LINC, the Kansas City Public Library, and the City of Kansas City, MO wish to partner with Google Fiber to create 21st Century Learning Environments for the children in east Kansas City, MO. This can be accomplished by bringing fiber into the schools, L. H. Bluford and Southeast Branches of the library and the Southeast Community Center without the current pre-registration requirement. Bluford has met the requirement which is fantastic but the Southeast Branch still lags behind. The requirements for pre-registration are well thought out but it is met with a multitude of challenges to connectivity for communities such as East Kansas City. Age, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity all play a role in creating this digital divide. This can be eliminated if we can explore this possible solution.