Google Fiber Rolls Out in South Austin

Sign-ups begin in South, Southeast Austin today

Mark Strama, head of Google Fiber Austin, discusses payment plan options in front of a Fiber van, featuring artwork by local artist Mike Johnston.
Mark Strama, head of Google Fiber Austin, discusses payment plan options in front of a Fiber van, featuring artwork by local artist Mike Johnston. (by Photo by Mary Tuma)

Less than a week after unveiling its Downtown “Fiber Space” and payment plan options, Google Fiber representatives said they’re officially rolling out the sign-up process for high-speed Internet service to South and Southeast Austin residents today.

The long anticipated announcement comes a year following the initial debut of Google’s plans to make Austin the second city in the country (after Kansas City, Kansas) to host the ultrafast fiber network. While mid-December was tossed around, an exact start date of the fiber rollout was not defined until now. South Austin residents, divided by “Fiberhoods” can now sign up for the service – if sufficient demand is met, they will be able to receive the 1 Gig speeds after installation is complete, at a later date.

Additionally, the Downtown space (201 Colorado St., the site of the former Children’s Museum) will open its doors to the public from noon until 10pm today and then again from 10am-10pm, Monday through Saturday, and from noon-5pm on Sundays. Austinites can test out the gigabit speeds in the high-tech meeting spot. The “Fiber Space” – to eventually take up some 23,000 square feet – is expected to be available for class field trips, live music shows, town halls, and DIY production studio work.

Separately, in an attempt to help bridge the digital divide for low-income residents, Google and the city of Austin announced plans to offer free Internet access to housing authority residents last month, as the Chronicle previously reported. Those services will be rolled out concurrently with the overall Austin strategy.

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