Officials from the city of Austin and Google announced Tuesday morning that Austin will be the next city to receive Google Fiber's ultra-fast gigabit Internet service.
Mayor Lee Leffingwell made the official announcement, and said the city has continued to work toward receiving the service after applying to be the first city to receive it last year, ultimately losing to Kansas City, Kan. Leffingwell said city officials realized many Austinites worked hard to be heard during the original application.
"We heard you," Leffingwell said. "It's a resource that can help make our city even more innovative. Google Fiber will change how we live and how we work in ways we don’t even know about yet."
Milo Medin, vice president of access services at Google, said pricing rates for the service in Austin are still to be determined. The service will be implemented in several communities called "fiberhoods" around the city, and will provide free public service in educational areas such as libraries and schools.
"We build where you want us to," Medin said. "Instead of us trying to figure out where we should construct the network, you – the citizens of Austin – will tell us. Austin and Texas as a whole has a legacy of inspiring other cities and states throughout America, and we know that you will use your creativity with this gigabit service."
Austin City Council member Laura Morrison said the Internet service will be central in continuing to make Austin a hub of innovation. Google's dedication to providing free high-speed Internet service to public areas of the city is very much in line with Austin's goals for its citizens.
"Our city is committed to digital inclusion for all of our residents, a goal we share with Google," Morrison said.
Gov. Rick Perry said receiving the service was a group effort between the city and the state, and the service will go along perfectly with the continued innovation of the Austin area.
"Way to go, Austin – you are changing the world," Perry said. "Central Texas is a perfect fit for Google Fiber. The things that have been going on in Austin over the last few years have been nothing less than world-changing."