April 6, 2013
Austin Could Be The Next City To Receive Google Fiber, Press Event Tuesday
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Representatives from Google and Austin, Texas have announced a press conference for Tuesday, and while details of the event have not been confirmed, multiple media outlets are reporting that the tech giant´s one gigabit broadband service will be coming to the Lone Star State´s capital city.
The event is scheduled for 11am on April 9, and according to VentureBeat´s Tom Cheredar, the invitation promises “a very important announcement that will have a positive impact on Austinites and the future of the city.”
Cheredar said that “multiple sources” have told him that the announcement is related to an expansion of Google Fiber internet service. However, he admits that the city could also be announcing a new Austin-based campus for the Mountain View, California-based company, or even some other partnership between Google and the city.
Currently, the only US city using Google Fiber is Kansas City, Kansas. However, according to Marguerite Reardon of CNET, Google hopes to ultimately turn the Internet service into a successful business venture.
Furthermore, Chairman Eric Schmidt told reporters in December that his company was hoping to expand the service to other locations in the near future.
“Google Fiber coming to Austin makes sense,” Reardon said. “Austin was supposedly high on the list of potential cities to get Google Fiber when Google was first evaluating places to deploy the service“¦ [it is] a tech-savvy city that also serves as the home of a major university.”
“Several large technology companies have offices nearby, including Dell, Samsung, and Intel,” she added. “The city also has a vibrant technology startup scene, not to mention the fact that it hosts the annual SXSW technology and music festival.”
It was also one of the cities that submitted a bid when Google first began soliciting applications for the broadband project back in 2010, according to PC Mag writer Chloe Albanesius. At that time, the Austin city council said that the program would “maximize Austin´s potential as a leader in the high-tech industry and spur a wave of innovation for new applications and uses of technology,”
“There's no question that Austin residents and businesses would put Google Fiber to good use,” Reardon said. “The big question now is whether Google is ready to expand its network or if it will wait for expansion. Building such networks is expensive.”
However, Google is already planning to expand their Kansas City coverage to nearby Olathe, Kansas, according to Albanesius. That would suggest that the company is definitely ready to expand its one-gigabit broadband network, which is currently available in three different service levels.
There is little doubt that Kansas City has benefited from the presence of Google Fiber, as both PCMag and VentureBeat point out that multiple tech startups have opened up shop there in order to take advantage of the uber-fast Internet speeds. Both Google representatives and Austin officials have refused to confirm whether or not Tuesday´s announcement means that the service will be headed south, however.