Austin residents promised gigabit internet from two companies.
Google has details its plans for rolling out its highspeed fiber internet in Austin, Texas. In a blog posting yesterday, the search giant and Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell announced that Austin would be getting Google Fiber. Google went on to describe Austin as a mecca for creativity and entrepreneurialism with a thriving tech community.
Google says it hopes to start connecting Austin homes by the middle of next year and that it will offer customers a choice of either Gigabit Internet or Gigabit Internet plus Google Fiber TV. The latter would net customers Google's superfast internet as as TV service with 200 HD channels. There's also a third option that will see customers get a free internet connection (5mbps) for seven years. Customers don't have to pay a monthly fee for this connection, but they do have to pay a one-time 'construction fee' at the beginning. Google didn't give specifics on pricing, but the company said it would be similar to the pricing for customers in Kansas City. Right now, Kansas City's Internet + TV package is $120 a month, while the Internet Only package is $70 per month. Customers can avail of free internet if they pay a $300 construction fee.
"Communities that are connected to the Internet grow stronger because there’s greater potential to create jobs, drive economic growth, and help businesses succeed," Google said. "We believe the Internet’s next chapter will be built on gigabit speeds, and we hope this new Google Fiber city will inspire communities across America to think about what ultrafast connectivity could mean for them."
Kansas City, Kansas was the first city to get Google Fiber. Kansas City, Missouri wasn't too far behind. Last month, Google announced plans to expand the program to Olathe, Kansas. Austin, Texas will get it in 2014. However, Google Fiber isn't the only superfast broadband the Austin folks are in for. AT&T has also announced plans to bring gigabit internet to Austin next year. The company made its announcement just a few hours after Google's and AT&T even mentioned the search giant in its press release.
"Today, AT&T announced that in conjunction with its previously announced Project VIP expansion of broadband access, it is prepared to build an advanced fiber optic infrastructure in Austin, Texas, capable of delivering speeds up to 1 gigabit per second," the company said. "AT&T's expanded fiber plans in Austin anticipate it will be granted the same terms and conditions as Google on issues such as geographic scope of offerings, rights of way, permitting, state licenses and any investment incentives. This expanded investment is not expected to materially alter AT&T's anticipated 2013 capital expenditures."
AT&T didn't offer much in the way of details regarding its own Austin plans, but we imagine it will also be 2014 before we see a roll out. We'll keep you posted one way or the other.