Austin Gets Google's Next Fiber Gig
It was one of the worst kept secrets of the week, and today Google made it official. Austin, Texas is next in line for Google Fiber, a broadband service promising 1 Gbit/s broadband speeds and IPTV.
The Austin rollout is projected to start by mid-2014 and will follow roughly the roadmap Google established last year in Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri.
Pricing hasn't been nailed down yet, but Google expects to stick close to the Kansas City numbers, where subscribers have access to a 1 Gbit/s broadband service for $70 per month, or broadband plus TV for $120 per month.
Google's Kansas City deployments have drawn a lot of attention, not just because of their fiber underpinnings but because of Google's willingness to test new Internet and TV service models.
Other would-be gigabit communities, for example, are paying close attention to Google's practice of signing up "fiberhoods" as a way to guarantee subscribers ahead of the first truck rolls. (See Nearly 67% of Google's 'Fiberhoods' Reach Goal.)
On the TV side, Google has bucked tradition by going with an all-HD lineup and a bundled Netflix app. The company is also rolling out TV everywhere apps, and, like many of its cable counterparts, has ambitions to integrate social TV functions in the future. (See Google Fiber Bundles TV, Shuns Data Caps.)
With the new Austin deployment, Google will face off against incumbent providers Time Warner Cable Inc., Charter Communications Inc., and AT&T Inc. with its IP-based U-verse service.
Time Warner offers the next highest downstream broadband speeds in the area with a service that offers up to 50 Mbit/s.
— Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable