Google announces downtown location for Fiber office

Google Fiber announced Nov. 24 the former home of Austin Children's Museum will become its work space for the Austin area.



The office, located at 201 Colorado St., will be open to the public in December, offering Austinites a place to view what gigabit internet can do for their Internet and TV experience at home.



"We anticipate having town hall meetings and political forums as well as concerts and hack-a-thons and really cool tech-centric events," said Mark Strama, head of Austin's Google Fiber project and a former member of the Texas House of Representatives.



The event space is part of Phase 1 of the new space and will be the only area open to the public come December. No specific opening date has been announced, and photos of the space were not allowed because it is still a work in progress. Strama said the lack of a specific date is not the team trying to be "coy," but rather an effort to ensure that when a date is announced it is correct because of complications that can arise during construction.



The area will also be available for production use, with five cameras set up to allow users to upload content to sites such as Google's YouTube. Strama said he foresees live music events and educational field trips for students regarding Internet safety and other topics in the space.



Google Fiber will offer the three-tiered service models currently available in other cities to Austinites, although access to gigabit Internet through the company will not be available citywide when it launches. The first tier of Internet service will not cost anything monthly but does have a $300 construction fee. The second tier is $70 per month for gigabit Internet, and the third tier, which includes gigabit service and television with more than 150 HD channels, will be $130 per month, Strama said.



The installation vehicles Google will use in Austin were also revealed Nov. 24. The vans feature artwork by local artist Mike Truth Johnston.