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W. 39th Corridor restaurants offer patrons a taste of Google Fiber

An early peek at Google Fiber is being offered at Fric & Frac, Mud Pie Vegan Bakery and Coffeehouse, Cupini’s and Room 39.

These eateries recently were connected to Google’s 1-gigabit network because of their proximity to the Google Fiber Space at 1814 Westport Road, a demo office where people can try out and pre-register for the new service available to residents of Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo.

“The performance has been pretty stellar so far,” said Max Ross, co-owner of Fric & Frac. “Of course you are going to be throttled by whatever the server you are connecting to wants to give you. At least I know it’s not me now.

“To put it into perspective, I have an online gaming system going, multiple people on Wi-Fi, others on wired Chromebooks and a hangout going — and it’s all running very smooth. I’ve been working on uploading videos of the creative things our customers do to our Google Plus page. They upload super-fast.”

Google Fiber claims it can download a high definition movie in seven seconds, as opposed to most other connections, which would take more than two minutes.

Ross suggests the addition of Google Fiber will also help business. “Right now, since we are the only ones with it, it’s a good place for niche businesses to come and test stuff out,” he said.

Ross quickly put Google Fiber to a test, which he said left him impressed. “I have done a test on a 9.3 gb download and it came in at around 10 minutes,” he explained.

The row of four wired Chromebooks is free for customers, and there is usually at least one open.

“I like Google Fiber,” said UMKC graduate student Marie DiFillipo. “It loads content heavy-sites like ESPN really fast with little delay.”

Ross said Google Fiber wanted to engage the community in a commercial setting. He formerly worked for a software company, on user interface design and rapid application development, as well as various other projects.

“Well, here in Kansas City, 25 percent of people have dial-up or lower or nothing at all,” said Ross, “So, I’m just happy to see the digital divide getting smaller here.”

Google is marketing Google Fiber as 100 times faster than average broadband.

“Really, it makes us a place where working professionals can come and get work done,” said Ross. “Need to upload a large file to YouTube? You can do it fast here. Things like that. Plus the gaming setup we have right now is pretty cool. “

The OnLive gaming system includes the retro arcade game Street Fighter 2 and LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean. There is no lag while Fric& Frac’s Google Fiber streams games off the OnLive  platform.

Google Fiber might have strong appeal for those disappointed by the buffering time on some websites with slower browsers. Ross said, “I looked at a two-ten (two hour, 10-minute), 4K video and it buffered in just over a minute with no hang-ups.”

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