Google Fiber is expected to arrive this December to the city of Austin, Texas, giving citizens even more reasons to celebrate during this year’s holiday season. Google recently announced that Austin residents who reside in the south and southeast areas of the city will be able to subscribe to its gigabit Internet service starting this December. Austin is the third location to receive Google Fiber services.
Google has plans to expand throughout the rest of Austin. However, exact time lines are not settled just yet. They are currently under heavy construction to get residents hooked up as fast as they possibly can. The construction crew has already been installing over 3,000 miles of underground fiber-optic cables since September. Powerful drills are being used to blast through Austin’s limestone and they are using sonar detection to avoid existing utilities infrastructures underground.
Kansas City was the first city to receive Google Fiber. Customers there are able to select Internet plus TV packages for $120 a month or just Internet for $70 a month. Google Fiber Internet offers speeds of 1 gigabit per second, which is approximately 100 times faster than the U.S. average. There is no word yet on exactly how much Google Fiber is expected to cost Austin residents when it arrives this December. The company has said before that prices will be similar to those in Kansas City.
Google also plans to connect free of charge to public buildings such as community centers, schools, and hospitals. Google is also considering a massive roll out around 34 other cities. There is no information to be expected until close to the year’s end. Google is often deliberating on offering a Google Fiber wireless version. They filed an application with the FCC to test various wireless spectrums in California, as well as the seldom used millimeter-wave frequency.
The test that Google hopes to begin in November includes three San Francisco Bay Area sites. According to the application, Google will use radio transmitters running in the 5.8 and 24.2 GHz frequencies and in 71-76 and 81-86 GHz millimeter wave frequencies. Google stated that they will not transmit data during these tests, only basic pings to measure how the different signals travel through various distances and terrains. Shorter distances work best for millimeter wave frequencies and must have a direct line-of sight connection to a receiver. However, several wireless experts theorized that if multiple devices were placed near one another on top of buildings, it could be another option instead of using in-ground fiber cables in offering Internet access directly to residences.
Austin residents in the south and southeast area who are interested in signing up early before Google Fiber is fully expected to arrive in December can preregister on-line for $10. Google will connect to any neighborhood area that has between 5 and 25 percent of households who join. There is also a slower Internet service offered that is free for the first seven years after a one-time $300 installation charge. The rest of Austin will able to receive Google Fiber Internet Services in the later months after it arrives in Austin in December.
By Valerie Bordeau
Photo by: Flickr