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Google Fiber is Coming! PDF Print E-mail

Google Announces Austin Texas as the Second City in Their Fiber Rollout

Austin Texas is known globally as a Mecca for creative and entrepreneurial people, including musicians, artists, Telecom Review headquarters, tech companies, and the University of Texas and its new medical research hospital to name a few. High-speed ubiquitous connectivity can make an immediate impact on the work of all of these groups.

When Google was originally choosing where to bring fiber in 2010, Austin had one of the most enthusiastic responses. Austin city leaders have worked hard to make this possible, and Google is excited to be coming to Austin.

On April 10 Google announced with the Austin Texas Mayor that Austin, Texas is becoming a Google Fiber city. The city is a center for creativity and entrepreneurialism, with thriving artistic and tech communities, as well as the University of Texas and its new medical research hospital. The community will be able to do amazing things with gigabit access.

The Texas governor was on hand to welcome the news along with other local politicians, techies, entrepreneurs, Telecom Review leaders, and other community leaders all showed up at Brazos Hall downtown because they knew Google’s super-fast Internet network was being announced for Austin, and they knew that history was being made.

Google’s goal is to start connecting homes in Austin by mid-2014. Customers there will have a similar choice of products as their customers in Kansas City: Gigabit Internet or Gigabit Internet plus their Google Fiber TV service with nearly 200 HD TV channels. They are still working out pricing details, but they expect them to be roughly similar to Kansas City. Also, as in Kansas City, they are going to offer customers a free Internet connection at 5 mbps for 7 years, provided they pay a one-time construction fee.

Google will build this network without special incentives from the city or state, but it did request a high level of cooperation from the city and from Austin Energy, the city-operated monopoly electric company, which owns many of the utility poles on which much of the network will be placed.

Kevin Lo, general manager of Google Fiber, said that the average American sees download speeds of 6 Mb per second. “When users have faster connections, they do more,” Lo added.

Lo said that the service offerings in Austin will be the same as those currently rolling out in Kansas City. The only variation may be in television programming, of which Google Fiber TV currently provides nearly 200 HD TV channels. Lo gave the example of the University of Texas’s Longhorn Network, a channel not currently provided in Kansas City, but will be offered in Austin.

Competitors Time Warner Cable and ATT were both guarded in their response to this new competition, asking for the same cooperation with the electric utility that is to be afforded to Google

Public Institutions

Google wants Austin residents to have access to the Internet as part of their daily lives. They are going to connect a number of public institutions - schools, hospitals, libraries, to Google Fiber for free. They will work with the City of Austin to determine a list of public institutions that will receive free Gigabit connections.

Google Comes to Austin Video

Google even made a video about coming to Austin and that may be seen at the link below: