Google Fiber Update
There has been a lot of speculation, but little actual news, since it was announced that Google Fiber would be coming to Austin in mid-2014. The high-speed internet service, which is being touted as "100 times faster than today's average" is currently available in Kansas City, Missouri and Provo, Utah.
While Google has been working to build the infrastructure to get Austin ready for Fiber, Austinites have been clamoring for more information. On Thursday, Redditor psdtwk posted a map with the locations of Google's permits currently on file with the City of Austin. With all construction currently occurring south of Lady Bird Lake, it seems the tech giant is favoring South Austin neighborhoods, leaving our downtown tech hub — not to mention the University of Texas at Austin — Fiber-less.
"We're making good progress, and we're working hard to bring Austin residents Fiber as quickly as we can," says Jenna Wandres from Google.
Not so, says Google's Senior Communications Associate Jenna Wandres. "The map is just indicative of the construction we're doing over the next few months, but our service area will definitely not be limited to the areas on this map," Wandres tells CultureMap. "Neighborhoods throughout the Austin city limits will have the chance to get Fiber."
Mark Strama, the former Texas representative who left politics to head Google Fiber in Austin, also emphasized plans for citywide "fiberhoods" on his blog. In November, Strama wrote, "When I first walked into the Google Fiber office, I was surprised by what I found: walls papered with maps of Austin, construction plans for every single neighborhood and a big team of engineers who knew the Austin area better than I."
Today, Google Fiber is remaining focused on building the Fiber infrastructure in Austin. Wandres points out that in Kansas City, the technology giant had to install more than 6,000 miles of fiber before getting the city online. "We're making good progress, and we're working hard to bring Austin residents Fiber as quickly as we can," she says.
So what can we expect when Austin finally gets Fiber? Current rates in Kansas City and Provo price services at $120 per month for Gigabit and television, $70 per month for Gigabit service or $0 per month for basic internet service at basic speeds (though, it should be noted, in order to receive the free service residents pay a one-time $300 construction fee).
As for meeting that mid-2014 roll out deadline? Google is staying mum on an actual date, saying only that it's working hard to get the first Austin customers online this year.