When Google makes a major announcement, everyone listens, and that was the case last year when the company known for its search engine announced it would be rolling out a high-speed Internet plus television service in Kansas City. Called Google Fiber, the service offers Internet connectivity at speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second. To put that into perspective, the top tier offered to residential cable customers in my region is capped at 150 megabytes per second.
Currently, Google Fiber is only available in the Kansas City market, both the Kansas and the Missouri sides, but Google is rolling out Fiber to a new market next year — Austin, Texas. Google already has a website to keep interested Austin residents up to date on Fiber’s rollout in the city.
As was the case with the Kansas City rollout, Google Fiber won’t be available citywide. Google hasn’t announced specific neighborhoods yet, but did state that it will limit Fiber to the Austin city limits. After surveying Austin residents, Google will roll out Fiber in the communities that showed the most interest.
The Google Fiber FAQ explains why the company chose Austin as its newest market: “Austin is known globally as a mecca for creative and entrepreneurial people, including musicians, artists, 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 we were 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 we’re excited to be here.”
While specific plans and pricing are not yet available for Austin, the Kansas City plans are enticing. New Google Fiber customers receive 1-gigabit Internet connectivity plus TV service for $120 per month. The plan includes a Google Nexus 7 tablet, a Google Drive account with 1 TB of storage space and a DVR box that can record up to eight shows at once.
If this looks like the Internet plus television plan for you and you’re wondering when Google Fiber is coming to your town, don’t hold your breath. Google has not announced any future markets, or even any probable markets.