should I move to Kansas City for an internet connection?
January 15, 2013 11:55 AM   Subscribe

After reading the recent AP / Slashdot story on startups and Kansas City's new fiber internet infrastructure and startup promotions, I am thinking of moving to where I can get high speed internet. One commenter suggested Chattanooga. Any other suggestions?

United States city is a requirement. Non-San-Francisco-cost-of-living is a requirement. Other than that I don't have any requirements at all, just preferences. I am running my own business out of my apartment; it is not an internet business. I have lived in: Oakland, Denver, New Orleans, Houston. Every place has plusses and minuses. I am pretty sure I could live in Kansas City or Chattanooga just fine. Where else ought I look?
posted by bukvich to Work & Money (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How fast a connection do you need?
posted by jon1270 at 12:07 PM on January 15, 2013

I think it's safe to say that any major urban area in North America is basically guaranteed to have very fast internet connections easily available for apartment-dwellers, especially those businesses that are not inherently internet-based. This really isn't a helpful way to start a search for a place to live, outside of perhaps disqualifying a lot of rural areas.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:21 PM on January 15, 2013

How much extra would it cost to live in these other cities? Cause you can get high-speed internet pretty much anywhere, but you might have to pay business rates for it. I just don't see it being a determinative factor in a move.
posted by facetious at 12:36 PM on January 15, 2013

Despite the great press that Google has gotten regarding their rollout of fiber in Kansas City, it's important to realize that Google has installed very little fiber in Kansas City, and it is only potentially available in a very small area right now and the near future. There are only two smallish neighborhoods where it's available, Hanover Heights and Dub's Dread, and even there the buildout is not complete. There's no guarantee they'll have even half of the city up and running in 2013 or 2014. If you move there now, you run the risk of just plain not getting service.
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 12:39 PM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

It's close to San Francisco, so it doesn't necessarily match your cost-of-living requirements, but there are a few neighborhoods in Sebastopol California where is rolling out fiber, I think they're asking about $40+tax/month for a hundred megabits, and $80+tax or so for a gigabit (Disclaimer: I work for, but not in a position where I know the numbers off the top of my head).

And I'm formerly of Chattanooga (left in '95), so though EPB's gig fiber is pretty pricey I have nothing but awesome things to say about rock climbing on Sunset Rock or the Tennessee Wall, whitewater paddling... well... all around that area, but especially on the Ocoee, hang gliding along the Lookout Mountain brow, hiking up in the Cumberland Plateau. And there are some cool people there, all the freaks tend to cluster because the rest of the population is pretty conservative, so some neat communities form.

But as facetious mentioned: How fast do you need/want? Most suburban or urban areas you can get enough to watch streaming video, and if you want to host a server in your bedroom there are reasons that you'd be better off with some sort of arrangement that pushed data up to a mirror on a colo box.
posted by straw at 12:44 PM on January 15, 2013

Seconding I EAT TAPAS. I live less than a mile away from Google Fiber headquarters and my neighborhood isn't scheduled to get GFiber until this fall. It's going very slowly. Also, not every household in eligible neighborhoods will get Fiber; only those that previously signed up for it during the pre-registration period. If you move to a house or apartment that didn't register, you're out of luck. I've had a chance to try out Google Fiber at their headquarters, and it's pretty nifty, but I wasn't terribly impressed.

That being said, KC is pretty great. Housing is ridiculously affordable, Kansas City, KS (as opposed to KC, Missouri; yes, they are two separate cities!) is very business friendly and you'll be in good company with all of the other tech-savvy startup folks that are headed this way.
posted by chara at 12:50 PM on January 15, 2013

I live in Spfg MO, and my internet is through AT&T, DSL. It's 40.00 per month, and unlimited download/upload limits. It' doesn't matter if I download 15 gigs a month, still 40.00.
As an American, I thought that all the the US was set up as such. Granted, I've had friends who got their service though CableTown, and had loads of charges, and slow connections. I assumed those people where just morons who thought "bundles" where a great deal.
I would never move some place just for a internet connection, and my biggest complaint about Spfg MO is it's the most Republician/White place in the states, but they are slowly changing.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 1:21 PM on January 15, 2013

If you don't mind a few months of cold, Minneapolis is an awesome place to live, and also has some fiber rolled out. I pay $40/mo for 100mbps, and could pay $70/mo for 1gbps. You can check US Internet's map to see where they've rolled it out - I'd ask the landlord of the place you're looking at about it. They also have business plans if you need guaranteed uptime or static IPs.
posted by antonymous at 1:34 PM on January 15, 2013

Well, it's not exactly run by a small company or a search engine, but you could look into areas with Verizon or Frontier FiOS. I've had both and they're awesome.
posted by fireoyster at 1:47 PM on January 15, 2013

If you like small towns, North Carolina has two with their own municipal fiber to the home networks, Salisbury's fibrant and Wilson's Greenlight. As a Salisbury resident, I'm very satisfied after switching from time-warner cable.
posted by pappy at 2:18 PM on January 15, 2013

Response by poster: Going by my own experience (not bad, but I deliberately do not do stuff on the internet because my speed, capacity, and uptime are most definitely not great) and this thread on reddit (based on a article on google, Kansas City, and the state of U.S. high speed internet in general), there seem to be huge geographical variations in internet service.
posted by bukvich at 4:52 PM on January 15, 2013

Charter offers 100Mbps down/5 up for about $100 a month in Worcester, MA. Not sure where else they offer it specifically but it looks like most of their markets have it. I've been happy with their internet service but that's the only nice thing I'll say about them.
posted by neilbert at 4:55 PM on January 15, 2013

I was thinking on moving to Bristol VA/TN a few years ago, one of the reasons was the fiber to the premise. So sure, yeah move.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 5:12 PM on January 16, 2013

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