A tornado is about to hit Kansas. Not the kind that sent Dorothy and Toto to Oz, but one that would get them onto the Internet lightning fast.

Always pushing the boundaries of information technology, search engine pioneer Google has launched another eyebrow-raising project. Fresh on the heels of its foray into the realm of renewable-energy development, the Mountain View, Calif., company is entering the ranks of service provider, but it won’t be just any service provider. It will propel Internet connectivity into a whole new dimension.

Last year, Google announced its intention to build ultra high-speed broadband networks in a few trial locations in the United States. It solicited bids and, later in the year, announced a winner, Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan. This February, the company announced that all preliminary studies had been done, and it is now ready to lay fiber.

Understandably, Google is bullish on the Internet’s potential. It sees a future in which super-fast download speeds and ultra-wide data-carrying capacity foster a wave of innovation, collaboration and access. It believes the new fiber network will encourage developers to come up with new applications and services. The project will also help the company test ways to build fiber networks. Google will also operate an “open access” network, providing users with a choice of multiple service providers.

Google says the new fiber-to-the-home connections will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than normal rates at 1 gigabit per second.