Google Fiber Coming to Austin in 2014

google fiber coming to austinGoogle Fiber has its next destination: Austin, TX. The ultra highspeed broadband service is supposed to roll out in mid-2014, when Austin will join Kansas City as the only two places linked up to Google’s network (so far).

Customers will have a choice between Gigabit Internet or Gigabit Internet plus Fiber TV service. Gigabit Internet is Google’s term for crazy fast 1000 mb upload and download speeds. That’s the max speed our electronics, like routers, are currently built for, though in the future we may be able to get even faster speeds with Google Fiber if the “inputs” for electronics are redesigned.

Just to compare, Google’s Gigabit Internet would be somewhere around 100-140 times faster than a typical home broadband connection now.

For more on pricing and how installation will work, check out our introduction on Fiber, from when service was just being rolled out in Kansas City. For now, it looks like subscribers will still receive free 2 TB hard drive to record movies and TV, and will receive free setup.

Plus, Google has announced they will be providing completely free service to schools and hospitals to spark interest and get people familiar with the service. Though it’s hard to imagine tech hub Austin not having tons of interest in the service already! As Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell pointed out,  “Google Fiber will change how we live and how we work in ways we don’t even know about yet.”

For the official word, check out the Google Fiber blog.

Google Fiber TV: What You Need to Know

Google Fiber TV has finally launched, and sure, it’s only in Kansas City for now. But don’t expect that to last: Google is coming for your cable provider.

At its most basic, the premise is simple: TV and Internet access from the same provider. It’s the same idea cable companies have been using for years, except the provider here is Google, and they’re promising insanely fast Internet speeds. Specifically, 1000 Mb per second, or 100 times faster than today’s average broadband, with no cap in the amount of data subscribers can use.

Google as an ISP seems like a logical leap. But what does a Google as a TV intermediary look like? Right now, Kansas City residents will receive an HD-compatible set-top box capable of receiving 160 channels (though no ESPN, HBO or Time Warner channels). As part of the monthly TV package, users will also receive a two terabyte drive capable of recording up to 500 hours of HD content, plus a bonus Nexus 7 tablet to serve as a remote.

The complete package (fiber + TV) will run KS  residents $120 a month, while Internet-only service will be $70. That may be more than a typical Comcast, Time Warner or even Verizon ViOS bill, but for unlimited streaming and the opportunity to escape the entrenched cable providers, we’ll be surprised if there aren’t a lot of KS residents who think it’s worth it.

More about Google Fiber.