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Google Fiber Hits Austin – What Does This Mean?

google fiber in austin
Image cc Carlos Luna Flickr
There’s a billboard on South Congress that says, “Hello, Austin.” After returning the billboard’s salutation I looked again and the ubiquitous Google was looking back at me. “I’m here to save you,” the Google billboard whispered. “I’m here to save you from Time Warner Cable.” Google has made no secret over the past year that they’re coming to Austin. Local and national articles covered the news, as anything Google does these days is national news. Sometimes it seems that they’re taking over the world, and they probably are, but if they can offer me awesome internet while they’re taking over the world then I’d call that a wash. And now the wait is over. On Monday, December 1st, 2014 Google officially made it to Austin. They started signing people up for their different service packages, and you can even check your address to see if they offer their service in your area. So what does this mean for Austin? Well, that remains to be seen. We can be sure that Austinites will no longer have to rely on the dual-headed monster that is AT&T and Time Warner Cable. We know that Google promises internet speeds that most of us can’t even dream about. We know they’re opening a Fiber Space office where the Austin Children’s Museum used to be. But will the service be an upgrade? We’re going to have to wait and see. Honestly, Google won’t have to clear that high of a bar to eclipse TWC and AT&T. Even though these cable companies have recently made attempts to speed up their internet, with AT&T even going so far as to apply the Google theory of laying fiber cables neighborhood by neighborhood, the consumer gripes towards these companies have a long and ugly history. The citizens of Austin pride themselves on being progressive in many ways, and trying a new service – one so deeply tech – seems like a natural fit. Even as the incumbent cable companies make strides to improve their local service, it might be too little too late for many Austinites. The crux of this assumption is that Google doesn’t run into a host of problems all their own. There have been no outcries coming from Kansas City – the first city Google chose to exhibit its fiber service – but each new neighborhood presents it’s own unique challenges when building and implementing a highly complex fiber optic cable network. For most of us, the rollout of Google Fiber will probably seem like a crawl. Google has focused their first wave of service to the South Congress, southern Austin area, but plans to extend across the entire city in the coming years. As with any project of this size, there are likely to be hiccups along the way. But it’s nice to have options apart from the frustration of slow internet, poor service, and outrageous prices that sometimes come with the cable companies many of us are presently being forced to use.

Logan Theissen

Logan is a Content Marketing Associate at FreightPros in charge of social media and content creation. He has a writing degree from the University of Oklahoma, but lives life on the edge and resides in Longhorn country. He loves Murakami books, Tarantino movies, and Vonnegut books. Lots of books. One day he will own a dog, but first he'll have to get a yard.

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