Gigabit speeds are coming to residential customers in Austin, Texas for $70 a month. The news comes courtesy of Google, which released pricing on Tuesday for its Google Fiber service for the city on its Google Plus page.
Google chose Austin as the third target market for the deployment of Google Fiber in April 2013. That followed the announcement a year earlier that the company would be jumping into the Internet service market with a pilot fiber optic program in Kansas City, Mo. and Provo, Utah. Although Google had originally hoped to get Austinites connected by the middle of 2014, the company now plans to begin signing up customers in December, according to the company.
According to an image Google posted of its pricing plan, Google Fiber in Austin will have three different service levels. Basic Internet includes download speeds of 5 Mbps and upload speeds of 1 Mbps, on par with other services. Basic Internet will be offered free after a one-time “construction fee” of $300, which can be prorated over a 12-month period.
Gigabit Internet, the middle tier, will cost $70 per month, although the $300 construction fee will be waived. This level of service includes the promise of speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (upload and download speeds of 1,000 Mbps). It also comes with 1 terabyte of cloud storage across the Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos services.
The highest service tier Google is offering, Gigabit + TV, includes the same upload and download speeds and cloud storage capacity included in Gigabit Internet, in addition to a cable TV service package of more than 150 channels. The company said it will offer TV and Internet for a combined $130 per month.
No Word on Enterprise Service
The company said it is currently laying 3,000 miles of fiber optic cable to build its network in Austin. “Longer term, we hope this infrastructure will play a big role in the city’s future,” Mark Strama, Head of Google Fiber, Austin, said in a blog post. “Gigabit Internet speeds will open up new possibilities for the way we use the Web, and Austin is well on its way to showing the world how it thinks big with a gig.”
The company has not said whether it will eventually offer an enterprise version of its service like it has in Kansas City, where it launched Google Fiber for Small Business. That service includes dedicated support for clients through e-mail, phone and chat and, unlike the consumer version of Google Fiber, won't require a long-term commitment.
The company has said it will continue to expand Google Fiber across the country, with plans in place to launch service in an additional 34 cities, but hasn't offered a timeline as to when it might do so.
Meanwhile, AT&T has launched its own pilot ultra-high-speed Internet service. However, despite its original announcement saying that it planned to bring gigabit speeds to 100 cities across the country, the company recently said it was halting expansion plans in the face of potential regulatory changes as to how the Internet would be regulated in the future by the Federal Communications Commission.