The Google Fiber rollout for Austin has been spoiled twice, but today it's officially official: the music-centric city will become a gigabit city... eventually, that is. Google now says that it will start wiring Austinite homes for super-fast internet access by mid-2014 -- we wouldn't cancel that cable or DSL service just yet, sadly. At least the pricing should be familiar. Google still plans to offer both stand-alone internet access and internet-plus-TV bundles, both at rates within the ballpark of what it offers for Kansas City, and there will still be a near-free 5Mbps plan that only requires a one-off construction fee. Institutions will get free gigabit access, of course. While we'd like Google Fiber as soon as possible, we're just happy to realize that our next SXSW crash pad may have a lot more bandwidth on tap.
Update: During a formal announcement call, Google and the city of Austin provided a few minor details. They revealed that Google didn't get any incentives to land a deal, and that engineering work is only beginning in earnest on April 10th. As for AT&T's me-too initiative? Kevin Lo from Google Fiber says that it's "great" to see AT&T aware that the demand exists for gigabit access. No hard feelings, then.
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