Back in early 2011, Austin, Texas lost to Kansas City, Kansas for the distinction of being the first city in the United States to get wired up with Google’s high-speed Fiber internet service despite mounting a campaign to catch the search giant’s eye.
While the average tech-savvy Austinite has probably forgotten that campaign, it looks like Google didn’t — local ABC affiliate KVUE reported earlier this evening that Google will indeed announce its Austin Fiber rollout early next week citing multiple sources from within the city’s government.
But let’s back up a minute first. Earlier today, Google and representatives of the City of Austin sent out invitations to a secretive announcement about something that would have a “positive impact on Austinites and the future of the city.” Incredibly vague, right? The fuzzy wording of the invitation left the door open for many interpretations, but a potential Fiber rollout seemed like the most likely suspect. After taking a gander at the invitation and conferring with their own sources, VentureBeat reported that there was a strong possibility that Google and representatives of the Austin government would announce just such an endeavor next Tuesday morning, and now KVUE’s reports seem to have sealed the deal.
While the news seems to have slipped out ahead of schedule, there’s still no word on any of the specifics of the plan and Google is assuredly aiming to keep quiet on the matter for the next few days. Still, Google will have plenty of tech-savvy neighbors to keep it company as it begins its work in Texas’ capital city — Apple operates a sizable campus there that’s only going to grow in the coming months, Dell has been camped out there for years, and Samsung churns out plenty of chips out in its Austin fabrication plants. That’s just the tip of the tech iceberg out in those parts, and the move to bring Fiber to Austin should see Google take on a slightly more prominent position in the city before long.
Google’s existing office is ensconced in a high-rise across the freeway from UT Austin’s J.J. Pickle Research Campus, but that won’t do for when it comes time to deal with its customers. Expect Google to secure some more consumer-friendly space to act as a showroom/customer service center for its first wave of Fiber subscribers, just as it did with its so-called Fiber Space in Kansas City’s Volker neighborhood.
I’ve reached out to Google for comment on the matter, and will update this story if/when I hear back.