Joco Opinion

Overland Park, Google Fiber need each other

So did Overland Park get a little too fussy in writing up a potential agreement with Google Fiber?

Or was the company a bit too arrogant in walking away from a pact needed to install its high-speed Internet service in the area’s second largest city?

Those are just a few of the story lines attached to the recent news about Google Fiber’s decision to bypass Overland Park, at least for now.

Overland Park officials had the right to take their time to negotiate a prudent deal on behalf of the public.

And Google Fiber had the right to move on.

But the company’s decision to not sign on the dotted line to serve Overland Park looks a little odd.

Google Fiber hasn’t exactly been setting land-speed records for delivering its service to Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City — the first two cities in the nation to get the fiber.

And while the company also has signed agreements with a number of smaller area suburbs, it apparently is going to take plenty of time to physically connect the system, step by step, into those parts of the region.

Google officials appear to be following an orderly process, one that requires linking various neighborhoods to high-speed fiber. That argument makes it less sensible for the company to leapfrog Overland Park, a physically large city with lots of affluent residents.

Some tech observers understandably say Google was sending a message to other cities: take our terms or else.

Yet Google and Overland Park need each other. The company wants to make profits; the city’s residents can help deliver them.

Expect a reasonable reconciliation on this issue in the future because that would make the most sense for all parties.