Live blog: Google Fiber comes to Austin, Texas

Austin Google Fiber Launch

Anticipation has been building deep in the heart of Texas as Google prepares to announce that Austin has become the second city to take part in its Google Fiber project to bring gigabit internet connections to the masses. It’s now official: the formal event kicked off at 9am PT, and I’ll be live-blogging the proceedings here.

In the meantime, check out our stories on what this could mean for Austin and broadband development in general.

Tom Krazit 10:04:26 am

A few last details from the after-action press conference, passed along by Stacey:

Google Fiber will have a small business offering in Austin and will soon announce one in Kansas City.

Google Fiber will serve its first customer in Austin by mid-2014 says Google’s Kevin Lo.

Thanks for hanging out with us this morning! Stacey will have more news over the course of the day, and a roundup of our coverage so far can be found here:

https://gigaom.com/2013/04/09/texas-fiber-google-brings-gigabit-internet-to-austin-roundup/

Tom Krazit 9:41:26 am

Stacey Higginbotham 9:41:15 am

Okay and the event is done. I’m going to find Medin and see if I can get more answers. Later y’all.

Stacey Higginbotham 9:40:28 am

And now Snipes is back on stage. Still waiting on details on when, where and how much. Looks like the event is over. Breakfast tacos for all!

Stacey Higginbotham 9:38:54 am

Perry signs off with, “May God continue to bless the great state of Texas.”

Stacey Higginbotham 9:38:35 am

We think big here in Texas :)

Stacey Higginbotham 9:38:26 am

Perry is talking about a meeting he held with state leaders and Cisco’s John Chambers with the aim of making Austin the next Silicon Valley, or perhaps even “better than Silicon Valley.”

Stacey Higginbotham 9:37:34 am

Perry is also referencing the competition. As in GooFi brings Austin another option for connectivity. In Austin, that’s AT&T and Time Warner Cable primarily. There’s also Grande Communications.

Stacey Higginbotham 9:36:22 am

He’s talking about Texas’ history in innovation such as it’s role in the space race. Go NASA! Speaking on GooFi, Perry says, “It vastly increases the odds that the next big thing, the next Google, might happen here in the great state of Texas.”

Stacey Higginbotham 9:35:22 am

Rick Perry got to announce the hashtag!

Stacey Higginbotham 9:34:51 am

Hashtag is #fiberATX

Stacey Higginbotham 9:34:17 am

And now here’s Rick Perry, governor of Texas. His hair is as-always, immaculate.

Stacey Higginbotham 9:33:44 am

Here’s the site for Austin: https://fiber.google.com/cities/austin/

Stacey Higginbotham 9:33:01 am

Google will do fiberhoods in Austin. Neighborhoods will sign up and those that sign up the most, get it first. Community institutions will get a free gig too. Details on where and how will come later.

Stacey Higginbotham 9:31:40 am

Medin: “We haven’t settled on pricing for Austin.” This is big y’all. It means Google is thinking about this as a real business.

Tom Krazit 9:31:14 am

Milo today:

Stacey Higginbotham 9:31:05 am

And here’s the deets: 3 products! Gigabit plus a TB of storage. Gigabit plus TV … Including ….The LONGHORN NETWORK (crowd goes wild). And the free broadband.

Stacey Higginbotham 9:29:56 am

People are collaborating on building rockets, women are playing the guitar, people are watching TV, and families are looking at tablets. The score was very Up-like.

Stacey Higginbotham 9:28:56 am

Medin references the WSJ story on kids without broadband having to go to McDonald’s to get a connection. And then starts a video showing people using superfast broadband. Very sentimental, this video.

Tom Krazit 9:28:23 am

Milo Medin in 2011:

Stacey Higginbotham 9:27:36 am

Medin: Says we pay some the highest prices per megabit and is ranked 16th in OECD rankings. And that’s why Google decided to bring gigabit service to Kansas City and now, to Austin.

Stacey Higginbotham 9:26:37 am

Medin’s talking about starting @Home back in 1996. “I remember when people told us, ‘who needs 5Mbps?'” Audience laughs.

Stacey Higginbotham 9:25:58 am

Medin: “At Google we’re obsessed with speed, …. but increasingly the source of slowness isn’t in the part of networks that we usually build. And speed matters because it’s the source of innovation on the web.”

Stacey Higginbotham 9:25:04 am

Medin: We’re here because speed matters!

Stacey Higginbotham 9:24:23 am

And now, here’s Milo Medin, Google’s VP of access services!

Stacey Higginbotham 9:23:56 am

Another video featuring Google’s CFO and local business celebrities (and cute kids). They’re calling Google Fiber “a huge bet on human creativity.”

Stacey Higginbotham 9:22:40 am

Lotsa talk about businesses, does this mean Google Fiber in Austin will be for businesses? In Kansas City, it’s residential for the time being.

Stacey Higginbotham 9:20:51 am

Morrison: Austin is on a roll … Google’s investment in super high speed broadband infrastructure will turbo charge us. She also just dropped the phrase “fiberhood,” which may mean we’re going to have the same type of roll out in Austin as Google did in Kansas City.

Tom Krazit 9:20:08 am

Stacey Higginbotham 9:18:43 am

Projects with an Austin flair include some smart grid technology projects and a virtual Austin Film Festival. And since we’re the Live Music Capital of the World, so why not make Austin the Live Music Capital of the Web by streaming concerts from our clubs.

Stacey Higginbotham 9:17:47 am

She’s highlighting ideas from our original Google Fiber application: working from home is reliable because the video quality is better and reliable. Better medical care and collaboration. Same with schools.

Tom Krazit 9:17:34 am

Google just released its official blog post on the move to bring Google Fiber to Austin: http://googlefiberblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/google-fibers-next-stop-austin-texas_9.html?spref=tw

Stacey Higginbotham 9:16:11 am

She’s an engineer y’all!

Stacey Higginbotham 9:16:00 am

Mayor is recognizing people. Laura Morrison, the city councilwoman who made it possible (according to the Mayor) is taking the stage.

Tom Krazit 9:15:15 am

Stacey Higginbotham 9:14:31 am

Screen says Hello Austin. Goodbye loading bars. Mayor is recounting how three years ago we told the mayor we wanted Google Fiber. He says that even after KC got it, Austin didn’t give up. And now, we’ll get it!

Stacey Higginbotham 9:13:30 am

People are asking for this particular resource that will make our economy stronger — Google Fiber is coming to austin Texas!!!! Crowd goes wild.

Stacey Higginbotham 9:12:28 am

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell is up now. Showing love to all the city peeps, including my favorite named mayor, Will Wynn. Show me the fiber, please.

Stacey Higginbotham 9:10:56 am

The assistant city manager of Austin is here, Anthony Snipes. Our city manager couldn’t make it. Snipe says we should be excited.

Stacey Higginbotham 9:10:16 am

Oh nice movie clip showing Austin. Crowd goes wild.

Stacey Higginbotham 9:07:02 am

Okay the call just went out to sit down. How much exposition will we sit through?

Stacey Higginbotham 9:04:31 am

Okay, so, we’re not starting on time. Don’t they know I’m on pins and needles?

Stacey Higginbotham 8:56:08 am

Looking for the Google Fiber brass but so far they aren’t up front. Google is really playing up the secrecy here. Even the Twitter hash tag is under wraps until the announcement itself.

Tom Krazit 8:55:25 am

Stacey Higginbotham 8:54:10 am

Hey y’all. The room is packed and everyone is super excited. We’ll get started soon, and in the meantime feel free to leave comments, questions and what you’d do with a gig in the comments below.

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