Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) was in Austin with the city’s mayor, Lee Leffingwell, to announce that Google’s super-fast gigabit broadband Internet was coming to the state’s capital.
Leffingwell confirmed that Austin will be a Google Fiber city in a Tuesday news conference. The company said in a blog post that its goal is to start connecting Austin homes by the middle of 2014.
Kevin Lo, Google product manager, said in a video about the announcement that Google’s efforts for gigabit Internet can function better when it serves “multiple communities in multiple cities.”
Austin, the company said, was a good choice to test the super-fast connection because of its strong tech community, as well as its strong academic community at the University of Texas.
Google has already begun offering its high-speed service to residents in the Kansas City, Kan. area, which won a national lobbying campaign two years ago. Connections have been in place since November, and the company announced earlier this year that it would expand service to the nearby city of Olathe in the coming months.
As is the case in Kansas City, Google said that it will offer the Internet service to Austin residents for free for seven years after a one-time construction fee. Google also said it will connect several public institutions such as schools, hospitals and community centers to its gigabit network at no charge.