Google on Thursday announced that Shawnee, Kansas will receive the company’s Fiber Internet service. Shawnee is located just south-west of Kansas City, meaning the technology will be easier to extend than previous Fiber city announcements, but Google currently claims it doesn’t have an estimate for when the service will be available.
The company says it has “a lot of planning and engineering work to do” before bringing Fiber to Shawnee. Nevertheless, Google insists the city deserves Fiber access as it expects that widespread connectivity will complement the “great work” the City is already doing:
We’ve also been impressed by Shawnee’s vision to keep their citizens informed and involved using the Internet. Recently, the City modernized their website, so that locals can easily access city info—from crime maps to fiscal reports to streamed audio of city council meetings.
Although Shawnee is a city in its own right, it also happens to be a suburb of Kansas City. In this regard, it is similar to Olathe, Kansas – which also approved to receive Google Fiber, back in March.
Earlier today, there was speculation that Shawnee was getting Google Fiber after city officials announced a special council meeting to consider an agreement regarding the service. Once they voted to bring it to the city, Google and the city announced the news together.
“The ultra-high speed Google fiber network will enhance the quality of life for people in Shawnee by providing faster access to essential digital resources,” Shawnee’s Mayor Jeff Meyers said in a statement. “This will grow and strengthen Shawnee’s competitive advantage in the years to come.”
Google first announced Fiber was coming to Kansas City in July 2012. The company was quiet regarding other locations for months, but as of late there have been a slew of announcements.
Given the plans for Olathe and Shawnee, Internet citizens who live in cities near Austin and Provo should talk to their city officials. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Google is eager to expand Fiber, both to large US cities as well as smaller ones that are suburbs to existing Fiber cities.
Top Image credit: Spike Mafford
There’s a new wrinkle in SideCar‘s ongoing battle with local authorities in Austin. Just a day after announcing that it’s offering free transportation to SXSW Interactive attendees, the ride-sharing startup has decided to take the city’s transportation department to court.
The suit is just the latest in a series of battles with the city since SideCar acquired Austin-based ride-sharing startup HeyRide a few weeks ago as part of its expansion into seven new markets. After launching in San Francisco last summer, the company is in the midst of a big nationwide expansion.
After getting rebuffed by local officials here, SideCar has fired back at the Austin Department of Transportation with a lawsuit that it hopes will legitimize ride sharing in the city. The filing hit today, just a few weeks after the Austin city council passed an ordinance that would effectively make it illegal for SideCar or others to operate there. The ordinance allows for local police to impound the vehicles of drivers who aren’t licensed to provide taxi or limo rides if they’re caught giving rides for pay.
In response, SideCar, which launched in Austin just ahead of SXSW Interactive, decided to give rides for free. Instead of getting paid “donations” by passengers after a ride, SideCar is paying its drivers an hourly rate as “brand ambassadors” during the conference.
Now it’s going on the offensive against the city, with a lawsuit filed in Austin City Court today that’s designed to reverse the ordinance. Not just that, but SideCar hopes that by taking Austin to court, it will make clear that its ride-sharing service and others like it are legal under local regulations.
In SideCar v. The City of Austin, Texas, the company makes the following claims:
Austin isn’t the only place where SideCar has been under fire from local regulators and city officials. Like Uber before it, SideCar received a cease-and-desist order and fines from the California Public Utilities Commission for operating an unlicensed charter party (i.e. limo) service in San Francisco. It’s also come under fire in Philadelphia, where three of its drivers had their cars impounded by the local police there.
I had a conversation with SideCar co-founder Nick Allen this morning at SXSWi, where he talks about the company’s free rides in Austin during the conference, as well as the lawsuit. Check out the whole video above.
See the article here: SideCar Sues Austin Department Of Transportation To Legitimize Ride Sharing
It looks like transportation around Austin during SXSW might not be as painful as it has been in years past. Increased competition in the ride-share market means that getting around will be a whole lot easier, as conference goers won’t have to sit around and wait for a taxi. Not just that, but transportation could be free, as both Uber and SideCar have committed to offering free rides over the next week or so.
Last week, SideCar announced that it would have ride sharing available during SXSW, as the company seeks to make Austin one of its first expansion markets. For its launch, the company had planned to introduce a fun (but complicated) promotion where some handpicked VIPs would be able to pick certain “spotlight” areas throughout town where riders could be picked up or dropped off for free.
The Austin City Council had other plans, however. Seeking to keep ride sharing out of town, the city passed an ordinance that stated that unlicensed drivers who accepted payments for rides could have their cars impounded. The goal seems to have been to keep unlicensed drivers from taking rides during one of Austin’s biggest events of the year.
But if the goal was to protect the revenue of cab drivers, the ordinance might have backfired. That’s because rather than have to deal with sting operations during the conference, SideCar decided to make all rides during the conference free, paying its drivers as brand ambassadors during the event. Theoretically, at least, since no money is changing hands between passenger and driver, the local police would have no grounds to impound any vehicles during the SXSW ride-share experiment.
SideCar won’t be alone in Austin, as Uber announced on its blog today that it would make UBERx available for the first time in Austin for SXSW Interactive. That’s a big step up from previous years, when Uber made pedicab rides available during the conference. But it also falls in line with the startup’s plan to introduce low-cost ride offerings in all of the markets that it operates in.
Late last month, Uber began recruiting new people for its UBERx service in San Francisco, accepting unlicensed drivers driving their own cars for the first time. Previously, it had partnered with third-party limo services for its black car and UBERx rides, but with the California Public Utilities Commission softening its stance on ride-sharing services while it investigated the possibility of accepting a whole new class of mobile app driven transportation services.
That opened the door for Uber to offer ride-sharing in San Francisco (and potentially Los Angeles), it does nothing for Uber’s promotional offering in Austin during SXSW. So it, like SideCar, will be making UBERx rides from unlicensed drivers free, to avoid running afoul of the new city ordinance. And, of course, driving app adoption from tech-savvy users at the conference should be a positive side effect.
Uber will have free UBERx rides throughout town, but those who want to ride in style will also be able to do so. That’s because Uber has partnered with a local limo company to offer UberLUX rides in Austin as well. Those who choose UberLUX will pay a lot more — minimum $75 a ride — but they’ll get ushered around in some baller vehicles, like a Rolls Royce Ghost or Porsche Panamera.
While Uber and SideCar will have free ride shares throughout Austin over the next week, the city is apparently reconsidering its stance on ride sharing. Thanks in part to a petition on Change.org urging Austin to embrace ride sharing, as well as some talks with SideCar over the last week, the city will soon vote on a new ordinance that will study ride sharing, with recommendations for new law in June.
In the meantime, though, folks on the ground at SXSW get free rides. Not a bad deal for the rest of us.
Don’t have a place to stay yet at SXSW this year? No problem. As long as you don’t mind sharing a room with six (or 12) people, social travel startup WeHostels has you covered.
The company, which has a mobile app that allows users to find affordable housing in hostels around the world, is launching a new way to search for places to stay during major events. Its new “Hot Trips” feature will allow users to hunt down housing during next month’s SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, as well as other future events like St Partick’s Fest in Dublin, or Oktoberfest in Munich.
For SXSW in particular, WeHostels has partnered with Firehouse Hostel, which is right around the corner from all the action on 6th in Austin. From March 8-12, the hostel will be making beds in its six-person shared dorms available for as little as $68, or $63 for those who wish to stay in a 12-person shared room. The hostel will also have various amenities ready for SXSW Interactive guests, including free Wi-Fi, a coworking area in the lobby, and complimentary breakfast. It also plans to host a party there Friday night.
The WeHostels app launched about six months ago to offer users the ability to find low-priced housing in hostels or cheap hotels. It’s been building its inventory of places to stay ever since, and now has recommendations for about 60,000 around the world. Much of that inventory is in Europe, where backpacking and staying in hostels is still an integral part of the experience for many young adults, but it also has places in North and South America, as well as Southeast Asia.
The app has more than 100,000 registered users, the majority of which are between 19 and 25. Its biggest markets for users are the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Germany but it hopes to get more people signed up throughout Europe, according to CEO Diego Saez-Gil.
WeHostels users tend to be spontaneous, with about a quarter of all its bookings happen on the same day, and another quarter of stays are booked the day before. The rest of all its bookings usually take place within a week of a user’s stay. That shows a lot of users are entering a city and trying to find a place to stay on the fly.
While its SXSW partnership is for shared rooms, the app caters to both private and dorm-style overnight stays. But prices are a significant discount to hotel stays or Airbnb listings in most cities. Average price in a city like San Francisco or New York City can run about $90 per night, but in less-expensive areas, like Southeast Asia, rooms could go for as low as $5 dollars a night.
WeHostels had raised $1.2 million in seed funding from of investors such as Ventech, Quotidian Ventures, CAP Ventures, Fabrice Grinda, and Dave Lerner, among others. For SXSW, users will want to book a little ahead of time. Already, its option for female-only shared rooms at the conference are booked.
Here is the original post: “Airbnb For Hostels” App WeHostels Launches Hot Trips, Including Ultra-Cheap Housing For SXSW Guests
Indoor Cycling & Functional Fitness Studio in Need of Web Site Build and Design in a Hurry.
The total number pages is small: 6-8.
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Additionally, several industry leaders for design and layout examples:
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Category: IT & Programming > Website Design
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