Starting today, select Austin residents can sign up to receive Google Fiber TV and internet service. Google has announced that signups are open for southern and southeastern sections of the city, and Fiber will gradually roll out to other Austin neighborhoods "on an ongoing basis." Small businesses can sign up for Fiber on day one, as well. Austin joins a small list of existing Fiber markets that includes Provo and Kansas City.
For consumers, there are three pricing options: a $130-per-month package that bundles gigabit broadband with TV service and 1TB of cloud storage, which can be used across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos. If all you're after is speedy web access, you can subscribe to the internet-only plan (which also includes the cloud storage) for $70 each month. And just as it does in other Fiber cities, Google is offering a "basic internet" tier that includes 5Mbps download and 1Mbps upload speeds for nothing — after you pay the $300 construction fee to get Fiber up and running, that is. The construction fee is waived with the other plans so long as you commit to keeping service for a year. Small businesses can get gigabit speeds by paying $100 each month.
Google previously revealed that it's "exploring" bringing Fiber to other areas; 34 potential Fiber cities in all are on the company's list. But for now, the blazing internet speeds are only available to a lucky few. In September, the company alerted Austin that its crews were working to get Fiber up and running, a process that at times required significant construction. "Underground or in the air, pardon our dust — in order to bring Google Fiber to a city, a whole lot of heavy lifting has to happen," the company said. Google has also worked to bring Fiber to Austin's public housing residents through an initiative it's calling Unlocking the Connection.