Google and the City of Austin, Texas have sent out invites to a press conference for "a very important announcement" next week, according to VentureBeat, and it is expected that the two will reveal that the city will be the next to receive Google Fiber. VentureBeat cites "multiple sources" that tell the website that the announcement will revolve around Google's gigabit internet service, but it's possible that the event will reveal some other partnership, like a new Google campus.
The evidence, however, suggests otherwise. Beyond the rumors, Austin is a logical place for Google to expand its highly sought-after gigabit internet service. Not only did the city wage a campaign to be Google's test city for the service (Kansas City ultimately won that competition), but it's a tech-centric city. Companies like Dell, Texas Instruments, Samsung, IBM, AMD, Intel, and others have offices there, and multiple startups are based in the city as well (and that's not to mention South by Southwest). Additionally, Google has been clear that Fiber "is a real business," as Eric Schmidt put it, and that it plans to expand the service to cities beyond Kansas City. Last month, Google announced plans to bring the service to Olathe, Kansas, about 25 miles away from Kansas City. We've reached out to Google for comment, and we'll give you more information as we get it.
Full statement below.
On Tuesday, April 9, at 11 a.m., the City of Austin and Google will make a very important announcement that will have a positive impact on Austinites and the future of the city. We anticipate more than 100 community leaders and elected officials to be in attendance to celebrate this announcement. The event invitation is attached for your convenience. Although we cannot share the details of the announcement with you in advance, we know readers will want to learn more, so we encourage you to join us on Tuesday.
Update: There seems to be little doubt now that Austin will be the next city to be wired for Google Fiber. Local ABC affiliate KVUE has corroborated the story, and Google briefly published an incomplete blog post late last night announcing that Austin will indeed be next.