Google Fiber is still a sparse internet and TV service as far as most of the country is concerned, as it's only available in a few select cities. The good news for residents of Austin, Texas is that they are now one of those locations where Google Fiber is available. As of today, Google has announced that is opening up the signups for the city of Austin to begin service with Google Fiber. For those who are unaware, Google Fiber is Google's own internet and TV service package, allowing speeds of up to Gigabit downloads. Users have the option of signing up for just internet alone, or they can pair it with TV.
Right now, Google is in the process of starting signups for a handful of Fiberhoods in the city, with rollouts to other areas of Austin planned but no specific dates have been set at this time. Google has established signup deadlines for each of the five Fiberhoods, starting with Blue Bonnet where residents of the area must sign up for Google Fiber service by January 29th, then moving to Lady Bird Lake with a signup deadline set for March 12th, then Emerald Forest with a signup deadline of April 23rd, followed by the Ben White Fiberhood with a deadline of June 4th and finally, Onion Creek residents must sign up by July 16th if they want to begin service with Google Fiber.
There are multiple offered packages just like there are with other cities where Google Fiber is already set up, beginning with a free internet service package, which includes no monthly fee for 5mbps download speeds and 1mbps upload speeds but it does require a $300 setup fee. For those who want to take advantage of the Gigabit internet, a $70 monthly fee is required, and if residents commit to service for a year Google waives the $300 construction fee to set up and install Fiber. Lastly, residents can add TV to the package, bumping their monthly costs up to $130 a month. Google is waiving the set up fee here too if residents commit to keeping service for a year. Both the $70 and the $130 plans come with 1TB of free Google cloud storage access which includes Drive, Gmail, and Google+ photos. The $130 plan will also give customers access to 150+ channels with the ability to record up to 8 shows at once. Google does plan on bringing Fiber services to other cities, and they have compiled a list of possible candidates where they want to get people connected, but that all of course depends on the cities themselves as Google and the city officials will have to meet certain terms and agreements. For us west coasters, Google is currently exploring the areas of Portland, OR and San Jose, CA although there is no detail on when they might begin the process for signups.