April 8, 2013

Google Fiber Headed To Austin

Google’s effort at expanding its ultra-fast Internet and TV service may be headed to Austin, Texas. According to VentureBeat, city officials and Google are holding a joint announcement next week that has all the makings of Google Fiber

VentureBeat was able to nab the text of the invitation:

On Tuesday, April 9, at 11 a.m., the City of Austin and Google will make a very important announcement that will have a positive impact on Austinites and the future of the city. We anticipate more than 100 community leaders and elected officials to be in attendance to celebrate this announcement. The event invitation is attached for your convenience. Although we cannot share the details of the announcement with you in advance, we know readers will want to learn more, so we encourage you to join us on Tuesday.

Google Fiber, which offers download speeds of up to 1,000 Mb per second, looks to be more than just an experiment for Google with its expansion into another market.  Austin also is an ideal locale for the service, as the city has a substantial technology center and hosts the annual South by Southwest Interactive festival. The event is a launching pad for startups, with Google presenting its Glass product during a closed-door presentation at this year’s conference.

Being in a tech savvy community like Austin will be an important win for Google. It is one thing to get users into its ecosystem through Google services or Android. But the presence of Google Fiber can be very attractive to any business or indiviual who relies heavily on the Internet. The presence of Google Fiber in Kansas City saw the rise of more startups – imagine what it would mean for a city like Austin that already has a strong tech culture.

Google Fiber is also another way for the company to hook more people into its services. It’s one thing to have people using Android or Chrome – a whole other matter for them to be connected consistently through a Google-built connection. Certain packages include a Nexus 7 and 1 TB of Google Drive storage – a great motivator for using Android and Chrome.

It isn’t as sinister as it sounds; using Google services has always been a tradeoff. In exchange for personal data, we get cool applications, and now operating systems,  that work relatively well.

Privacy concerns are valid; all the more reason to maintain a diligent watch of how Google handles its information and user privacy.

Image Credit: Google

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