Google to Bring Gigabit Internet to Austin, TX; AT&T Hopes to if Offered Same Deal
Residents in the Texas state capital have something to look forward to, as Google has announced its plan to bring Gigabit Internet to Austin by the middle of next year. The company says pricing and choice of options should be similar to what's currently available in Kansas City (and Olathe, KS), which is the first time Google has said anything about expansion. Current options in Kansas City include a $120 a month package for Gigabit Internet, TV-over-IP, and a DVR; a $70/month package for just the Gigabit Internet; and finally a one-time $300 construction cost (with an option to split it up over a year) for 5Mbps Internet at no additional cost for seven years. Google also plans to connect public buildings like hospitals, schools, and community centers to the fiber service at no extra cost.
Not to be outdone, AT&T announced it hopes to bring Gigabit Internet to Austin if it gets the same deal as Google. According to AT&T, it'll do so if "granted the same terms and conditions as Google on issues such as geographic scope of offerings, rights of way, permitting, state licenses and any investment incentives." Both Google and City of Austin officials, including mayor Lee Leffingwell, were quick to say there were no incentives offered and it's simply a way to bring more choices to Austin residents. There were also no incentives offered in Kansas City, although officials there are allowing Google to set up any Central Office equipment in city buildings.
The agreement between Google and the City of Austin hasn't been made public yet, but it should be available on the city website before long. Hopefully other cities and communities get Google Fiber too, otherwise Kansas City, Olathe, and Austin are going to get a lot of new residents.