Austin named as second city to get Google Fiber broadband

Together with Kansas City, Austin will be the site of a Google Fiber network 100 times faster than the average broadband.

Google
Google Fiber is coming to Austin, Google announced this week.

Last year, Google announced that Kansas City would be the first city to host Google Fiber, a fiber-optic network said to be a hundred times faster than a traditional broadband connection. This week, the Mountain View giant confirmed that it had selected a second city for the program: Austin, Texas

Austin, Google's Milo Medin wrote in a post on the Google Fiber blog, is "a mecca for creativity and entrepreneurialism, with thriving artistic and tech communities, as well as the University of Texas and its new medical research hospital. We’re sure these folks will do amazing things with gigabit access, and we feel very privileged to have been welcomed to their community," Mr. Medin added. 

No word on exactly when the Fiber network in Austin would be implemented, but if you live in the city, and you'd like to be included in the early push, you can sign up for updates here

So are we on the cusp of a nationwide Google Fiber network? Well, don't hold your breath. For one, as Cyrus Farivar points out this week at Ars Technica, Google Fiber is expensive. Mr. Farivar quotes a new analysis from Carlos Kirjner and Ram Parameswaran of Alliance Bernstein, who have estimated that it would cost Google $11 billion over five years to even lay the groundwork for a nationwide push. 

"We remain skeptical that Google will find a scalable and economically feasible model to extend its build out to a large portion of the US," Kirjner and Parameswaran have written in a new paper, according to Ars Technica, "as costs would be substantial, regulatory and competitive barriers material, and in the end the effort would have limited impact on the global trajectory of the business." 

Moreover, as Ryan Lawler of TechCrunch wrote last year, at the time of the Kansas City announcement, there's also the small matter of personnel – Google would need more customer service staff, and it would need an army of trained technicians. 

"And let’s keep in mind, cable technicians — the people who actually do this stuff — aren’t just born," Mr. Lawler writes. "There’s all sorts of training that they go through to learn how to hook up and subsequently wire a home, and it’s doubtful that Google is just going to train a bunch of newly minted techs to take care of its high-profile fiber rollout." 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.