Google wants Austin to keep competition going for fiberhood status

Neighborhood associations are vying to be the first to get fiber

Ever since Google announced that Austin, Texas, would become the second fiber city in the U.S. last month, residents there have been given few details on how the tech company will select the first neighborhood to get the gigabit-speed Internet and TV package.

In the absence of a lot of information, excited residents are either plotting how to become the first neighborhood to get fiber, which Google calls a fiberhood, or in some cases, already predicting failure. IDG News Service visited Austin for this video of the mood there.

Neighborhood associations within the city are forming focus groups, emailing members to gauge interest and generally encouraging members to sign up for fiber on Google's streamlined Austin Fiber site.

One of those neighborhood groups, the Downtown Austin Neighborhood Association (DANA), is most worried about its downtown location, meaning that fiber will likely be too costly to implement at first, since utilities have to be run underground to compensate for high-rise buildings.

"We're trying to be realistic because we understand there are inherent challenges to wiring downtown," said Pamela Power, the vice president of DANA.

However, Google most wants Austin to keep the passion that made it the clear fiber choice. And residents might be surprised to know that simply getting the most people signed up in each neighborhood means they will probably get fiber first.

Fiber spokesperson Jenna Wandres said that while Google has kept the details spare so far, it's likely to follow the lead of what it did in Kansas City, Missouri, and eventually, its twin city across the river, Kansas City, Kansas. Google picked the first neighborhood there solely based on which neighborhood had the highest rate of registrants on a similar site. Google calls it the "build by demand model."

"If your fiberhood is super-excited and you register a ton of people, you'll have the chance to get it first," Wandres said.

Google isn't waiting until the first fiberhood is selected to get to work. Construction crews have already started working in Austin, installing a fiber ring around the city so that connections can happen quickly, Wandres said.

Google plans on having the first fiberhood connected to its ultra-fast broadband by mid-2014.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetGoogle

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Kerry Davis

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?