Midtown residents ask Google about pre-registration issues

Google Fiber brought its truck – and free ice cream – to the Westport Library yesterday for a meeting to explain its service and answer questions.

Residents had questions about address problems and apartment houses when Google Fiber held a meeting in Midtown yesterday. At a gathering at the Westport Library, Google’s Carlos Casas explained the package of television and high-speed Internet services Google will make available to areas that show enough interest. Residents then had a chance to ask questions about how the service would work and how their “fiberhood” could qualify. Fiberhoods are smaller sections of neighborhoods that Google has identified as service areas. A certain percentage of residents in each fiberhood must pre-register by September 9 or Google will not guarantee it will wire that area.

By now, most residents of Midtown have heard about Google’s proposal to give Kansas City the fastest Internet speeds in the country. But several people at the meeting expressed frustration that they had been unable to pre-register even though they lived in a designated fiberhood. Casas acknowledged that Google is dealing with a complex problem because its database of addresses is not up to date. He explained that people who are not able to pre-register should follow a link on the Google Fiber site called “submit an address.” He said that would open a ticket for Google’s customer service team, which would then work to fix the problem. He also said that anyone who has submitted an address before September 9 will be qualified. However, some residents said they would be more comfortable if they received an acknowledgement from Google that their address had been submitted.

The other issue raised by residents was how condos and apartment buildings would be registered. Casas said that Google is still working out issues regarding apartment buildings. He said that residents of apartments will be able to get the service if the fiberhood gets enough pre-registrations and the landlord agrees, but the exact details of how apartments will be wired are still being resolved.