Today, we’re pleased to announce with Mayor Lee Leffingwell that Austin, Texas is becoming a Google Fiber city. It’s a mecca for creativity and entrepreneurialism, with thriving artistic and tech communities, as well as the University of Texas and its new medical research hospital. We’re sure these folks will do amazing things with gigabit access, and we feel very privileged to have been welcomed to their community.
Our goal is to start connecting homes in Austin by mid-2014. Customers there will have a similar choice of products as our customers in Kansas City: Gigabit Internet or Gigabit Internet plus our Google Fiber TV service with nearly 200 HD TV channels. We’re still working out pricing details, but we expect them to be roughly similar to Kansas City. Also, as in Kansas City, we’re going to offer customers a free Internet connection at 5 mbps for 7 years, provided they pay a one-time construction fee. We’re also planning to connect many public institutions as we build in Austin— schools, hospitals, community centers, etc. — at a gigabit for no charge. If you live in Austin and want to sign up for more information, please visit our website.
The Internet is still in its early days and has so much more potential to improve our lives. The web helps students and families access essential resources, from information about jobs and healthcare to banking and educational services. Communities that are connected to the Internet grow stronger because there’s greater potential to create jobs, drive economic growth, and help businesses succeed. 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. If you’re a city leader and you’re looking for some help making your city gigabit-friendly, have a look at this video from the FCC’s March 2013 Workshop on Gigabit Community Broadband Networks for steps you can take towards your own gigabit-powered future.