Austin might be one of the luckiest cities in the U.S., after getting AT&T’s 300Mbps and 1Gbps broadband option, Google Fiber will now be available as an alternative.
Coming in December to some Austin “fiberhoods”, Google Fiber will be available in three packages:
- Free 5MB download and 1MB upload (requires $300 installation).
- 1Gbps fiber Internet – $70 per month.
- 1Gbps fiber Internet, 150 TV channels and 1TB of cloud storage – $130 per month.
This is the same pricing structure as Kansas City’s Google Fiber. It has taken Google three years to expand into half of Kansas City, but Austin will not take anywhere near as long.
Google will kick off the fiberhood battles in December, where neighborhoods fight to get fiber installed first. Google works on a popularity scale, meaning the more interest in Google Fiber, the faster it will replace old cable.
Interestingly, AT&T, Google Fiber’s main rival in Austin, has already entered the market. Citizens in Austin do say the fiber service is limited, with availability only stretching out to some high-end developments.
Google Fiber has been accused of cherry picking too, even though the senior vice president for Google Fiber Milo Medin claims the company is actively looking for popular neighborhoods, not necessarily wealth ones.
The next few years could be crucial for Google Fiber. The merger of AT&T, DirecTV and Comcast, Time Warner Cable could make it harder for new ISPs to grow in the U.S.
Google Fiber is already a household name in Kansas City and Provo, Utah, where the service is already available. It might be harder for Google Fiber to enter markets against Comcast and TWC.
The new net neutrality laws might work in Google’s favor as well, if the FCC decides to allow fast-lanes. Google has already said it will not use fast lanes, and Internet companies might promote Fiber as the best alternative to Verizon and Comcast.