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Google has officially announced it will be building its fiber Internet service in Austin, Texas. The expansion, leaked over the last few days, will see Austin become the second city after Kansas City to get the Gigabit Internet and TV service through Google Fiber, with the company hoping to "start connecting homes" to the network by mid-2014.
The services provided by Google Fiber in Austin should be similar to that of the Kansas City project, and at a similar cost. Currently, Google Fiber users can opt for a Gigabit Internet connection with a 1TB Google Drive allocation for $70 per month, or for $120 a lineup of around 200 TV channels with up to eight simultaneous channels being recorded to a local storage box, and a Nexus 7 tablet on top of the Gigabit connection. The ability to pay the $300 installation fee on its own is also available, providing a 5Mbps connection that is guaranteed free for at least seven years.
Google states that it will be focusing its Fiber efforts within Austin city limits. It is likely that the company will designate "Fiberhood" regions in order to encourage pre-registrations and gauge where to place the initial Fiber installations. Of the original 202 Fiberhoods in Kansas City, 180 reached their designated registration targets within the sign-up period, with only one area failing to show any interest in the project at all.
In explaining the choice of Austin as the company's next Google Fiber location, Vice President of Google Fiber Milo Medin called the city a "mecca for creativity and entrepreneurialism, with thriving artistic and tech communities, as well as the University of Texas and its new medical research hospital. We're sure these folks will do amazing things with Gigabit access."
Recent estimates suggest that the main Fiber network itself will cost Google around $170 million in total for Kansas City, excluding the final connection between homes and the network, with Austin likely to cost a similar figure.