Google chose them for the broadband lottery.
Kansas City, Kansas, is about to receive a huge influx of nerdy new citizens. They've been chosen by Google to be the first city to get ultra high-speed broadband access. The search engine announced last year that they would provide one American community with Internet access "more than 100 times faster" than what the average person uses today. 1,100 cities applied for the project...and Google announced the winner today.
KC was chosen because it was somewhere Google could build "efficiently", and also a place they felt the free Internet would "make an impact". Service should kick off in 2012. Google promises that they'll also "be looking closely at ways to bring ultra high-speed Internet to other cities across the country". Which sounds like a bit of a tease to me, but whatever.
The perplexing thing about this announcement is the city of Kansas City itself. It enjoys the dual distinctions of being a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri and also being the third largest city in the entire state of Kansas. The Kansas City Metropolitan area is a giant urban sprawl that rolls across two states. Nearby residents of the "other" Kansas City are sure to be jealous at their neighbour's Google coup.
I think it is likely that Wyandotte County, Kansas will see a huge influx of Missouri residents who decide the added commute is worth it for the faster Internet. I'd also be surprised if KC, Kansas doesn't act as a magnet for gaming enthusiasts in the surrounding states. People who work AND play on the Internet- and there are a lot of us- would have an easy time justifying the move.