Google Inc. will plan to offer high-speed Internet access in Austin, Texas, extending the reach of its network that is more than 100 times faster than some broadband services.
Google will begin its first customer installations in mid-2014, Milo Medin, vice president of Google Fiber, said at an event Tuesday in Austin. The Texas capital follows Kansas City, Kansas, which won a deal in 2011 to get access to Google's Fiber, a service that includes Internet access and television channels.
The operator of the world's most popular search engine is looking for new ways to improve network services and keep consumers on the Internet, where it makes most of its money from advertising. Google has also introduced Wi-Fi Internet in New York's Chelsea neighborhood and its hometown of Mountain View, Calif., and has said that it's "looking closely" at bringing the service to more cities.
"We're here because speed matters," Medin said at the event, attended by Texas Governor Rick Perry. "Speed is the foundation of future innovation on the Web." While pricing hasn't been set, it will be similar to Kansas City, where Google charges $70 a month for a high-speed connection and $120 a month for Internet and television service, Medin said. A basic broadband service will be offered for free, after a $300 connection fee, Medin said.
As it did in Kansas City, Google said it will target areas with high demand for the service. Google will be seeking feedback in specific neighborhoods to measure interest, the company said on its website.
"This is a really big deal," Perry said. "This vastly increases the odds that the next great thing -- the next Google -- will be born in the Lone Star State."