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.
- The economics of Google Fiber and what it means for U.S. broadband
- Google Fiber is coming to 90% of eligible Kansas City neighborhoods
- As Austin readies for Google Fiber, here’s why you need a gig: even if you don’t think you do
- A quick look at Google Fiber pricing v. the incumbents
- The downsides of a gig: what other towns have learned after getting a gig
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:
Okay and the event is done. I’m going to find Medin and see if I can get more answers. Later y’all.
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!
Perry signs off with, “May God continue to bless the great state of Texas.”
We think big here in Texas :)
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.”
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.
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.”
Rick Perry got to announce the hashtag!
Hashtag is #fiberATX
And now here’s Rick Perry, governor of Texas. His hair is as-always, immaculate.
Here’s the site for Austin: https://fiber.google.com/cities/austin/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Medin’s talking about starting @Home back in 1996. “I remember when people told us, ‘who needs 5Mbps?'” Audience laughs.
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.”
Medin: We’re here because speed matters!
And now, here’s Milo Medin, Google’s VP of access services!
Another video featuring Google’s CFO and local business celebrities (and cute kids). They’re calling Google Fiber “a huge bet on human creativity.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
She’s an engineer y’all!
Mayor is recognizing people. Laura Morrison, the city councilwoman who made it possible (according to the Mayor) is taking the stage.
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!
People are asking for this particular resource that will make our economy stronger — Google Fiber is coming to austin Texas!!!! Crowd goes wild.
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.
The assistant city manager of Austin is here, Anthony Snipes. Our city manager couldn’t make it. Snipe says we should be excited.
Oh nice movie clip showing Austin. Crowd goes wild.
Okay the call just went out to sit down. How much exposition will we sit through?
Okay, so, we’re not starting on time. Don’t they know I’m on pins and needles?
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.
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.