Google Fiber goes live in parts of Austin

Jan 20, 2015
Austin American Statesman

Super-fast Google Fiber Internet service is now up and running in a few select pockets of Austin, the company confirmed Friday


The largest concentration of installations is at the Bainbridge Villas apartment complex, at 3603 Southridge Drive in South Austin, said Mark Strama, the former state representative heading up Google Fiber’s Austin rollout


As crews continue to make their rounds, even more homes and apartments should see speeds of 1 gigabit soon, Strama said


Google plans to make Fiber available citywide over the next several years, but is initially targeting South and Southeast Austin. Strama said there should be an announcement soon on where in town Google will head next


Signups for the first neighborhoods – Google calls them “Fiberhoods” – started late last year, with several areas hitting Google’s signup goals within a matter of hours


The company’s plans call for offering service only in neighborhoods that meet those signup goals. The first deadline is Jan. 29 for homes in the Bluebonnet Fiberhood, which includes thousands of residences in an area roughly bounded by South First Street, Ben White Boulevard, MoPac Boulevard (Loop 1) and Barton Springs Road


Deadlines for other parts of South and Southeast Austin extend into March, April, June and July


People who don’t sign up at fiber.google.com by their neighborhood’s deadline will likely have a long wait before they’ll have another opportunity to get Google Fiber, Strama said


The company is offering three packages to choose from, including one that offers slower Internet speeds for free after a one-time construction fee of $300. One-gigabit Fiber Internet service by itself runs $70 per month and a combo package with 1-gigabit Internet and more than 150 cable TV channels is $130 per month


Interested customers can take Fiber for a test drive at Google’s Fiber Space, which is located in the former Austin Children’s Museum building at 201 Colorado St. Information is also available at the H-E-B store at South Congress Avenue and West Oltorf Street


In areas of Austin and elsewhere across Central Texas where Fiber isn’t available yet, other carriers are also offering 1-gigabit Internet service, including AT&T U-verse, Grande Communications and LiveAir Networks


Time Warner Cable, the area’s largest cable provider, has upped its maximum residential speed to 300 mbps and has said 1-gigabit service is possible in the future



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