Google Fiber is finally about to expand into a third city, according to The Wall Street Journal. A Google spokesperson said that the company would begin the signup process for Fiber in Austin this December, about half a year later than originally projected. Fiber for Austin was originally announced in April of 2013, with the goal of connecting homes by mid-2014. At that point, the superfast TV and internet service — which can provide gigabit-quality speeds — existed only in Kansas City, where it launched in November of 2012. Last year, Google has expanded it to Provo, Utah. But Austin has been longer in coming. Last month, a blog post said that Google had "a detailed network plan in place" and that crews were building core fiber infrastructure. Signups are currently set for "late 2014" on its site.
According to the Journal, Google will be focusing specifically on the south and southeastern parts of Austin. Its signup process, as in other areas, involves gathering $10 pre-registrations in potential neighborhoods and connecting Fiber first in those that pass a certain goal. Provo and Kansas City residents in connected neighborhoods can pay $120 a month for gigabit internet and HDTV, $70 a month for internet alone, or basic 5Mbps broadband for a flat, one-time fee (listed as $30 in Provo and $300 in Kansas City.) Google has said that pricing in Austin will be similar, and residents can get "free" basic service with a $300 construction fee.
Fiber is still barely on the radar as a broadband option, but it's been enough to prompt some existing companies to consider faster service tiers. AT&T, for example, started letting Austin customers sign up for 300Mbps service in December of 2013 and upgraded to gigabit service in August of this year. Google, meanwhile, is considering expansion into several more metropolitan areas, including Atlanta and Salt Lake City. Most recently, it reached an agreement that could potentially see it installed in Portland, Oregon; a decision is expected by the end of this year.