Google is bringing Google Fiber to Austin, Texas. The announcement follows its inaugural installation of Google Fiber in Kansas City last year. According to the company, Austin makes a natural fit for Google Fiber with its bustling, diverse economy and academic community. Google and the City of Austin held an event today announcing the initiative.
In addition to the announcement Google and the city have put together this video which also alludes to future plans for Google Fiber nationwide:
Homes in Austin will be connected to the service by the middle of next year. Home subscribers can sign up for gigabit broadband service as a standalone option or include Google Fiber TV which works like traditional cable and offers approximately 200 HD channels.
Austinites will also be offered a free internet connection at 5 mbps for 7 years provided they pay a construction fee. The plan was confirmed ahead of the announcement in a blog post on Giga Om this weekend.
Since its launch of Google Fiber, the company has taken an increasingly active role pushing for greater nationwide high speed broadband access, including joining protests over anti-municipal broadband network bills like the one in Georgia. The Georgia bill was defeated, but others are attempting to advance in legislatures nationwide.
The Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council Americas (www.ftthcouncil.org), a non-profit association dedicated to expanding the deployment of ultra-high speed, all-fiber networks across the country, applauds the efforts of local leaders for continuing economic growth and community expansion and has also released a statement pushing for greater deployment of gigabit broadband access nationwide.
“Google’s latest Fiber announcement demonstrates the fast-growing case for fiber deployment in America, joining cities like Lafayette, Louisiana, Seattle, Bristol (VA-TN) and Chattanooga, all of whom recognize how crucial gigabit connectivity is to economic development and innovation. Google choosing a second city is further evidence that local communities can work together with providers to make the business case that works for their constituents,” said Heather Burnett Gold, president of the FTTH Council.