Kansas City, Kan., will be the first city to get ultra high-speed fiber Internet connections as part of a special project by Mountain View, Calif.-based Google. Google plans to offer 1 gigabit per second fiber connections — 100 times faster than most broadband connections speeds — to the city's residents beginning in 2012.

Google unveiled its plan one year ago to build and study the use of ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the country. The company asked interested communities to submit applications to be test sites, and more than 1,100 cities across the nation responded. Kansas City's Unified Government was one of them. "The wonderful diversity of our community, neighborhoods and industry make Kansas City, Kan., a microcosm for the rest of the country," said Mayor Joe Reardon in a statement. "When you combine these assets with our well-established track record of development partnerships, we feel Kansas City is the perfect location for Google to launch its fiber project."

One of the company's goals is to improve Internet access by observing how communities transition from traditional broadband to ultra high-speed fiber optic connections. "This project represents the future of how we connect to the web," said Milo Medin, Google's vice president for access services.

Most residents will pay for the new service, but, as part of the agreement, Google will provide free access to schools and city facilities as the fiber network is deployed. "The deployment of this high-speed Internet service into our neighborhoods will undoubtedly further advance the academic vision and goals of our local schools and universities," Reardon said. "Our students will benefit from this new opportunity allowing them to use this next generation fiber optic system to fully realize their potential in a global economy."

Get additional information on the Google Fiber project in Kansas City, Kan. Read the Kansas City press release on the new program or watch the video below.