Learn More – FAQs About the Big Gig

The deadline to nominate Austin is March 26. Please act today.

What's Google doing?

Google plans to build experimental networks in one or more communities. The networks would be 100% optical fiber all the way to the home, with speeds up to one billion bits per second – or one gigabit.

The networks will be open, which means means customers could have a choice of competitive Internet service providers.

For more information, watch the Google informational video (to right). Or, visit the Google project overview page.

What's the big deal about a gigabit?

That's over a hundred times faster than the broadband most Austin residents have.

With those speeds you could have better-than-DVD quality video, both sending and receiving. Just the way moving from modems to broadband revolutionized the Internet, it would open up a new world of previously unimaginable applications,

It would bring the Internet to a new level of coolness. I'd give up my jetpack and flying car to get gigabit Internet.

Why is Google doing this?

It's an experiment. Google wants to see what next generation "killer apps" would emerge on a gigabit Internet. They want to test new techniques for building high-performance networks quickly and cheaply. They want to prove that high performance, open networks are commercially viable.

Won't this make Google our new Internet overlords?

No. Google isn't planning to get into the Internet service business. When Google set up an experimental wireless mesh network in Mountain View, CA, they didn't go into the wireless service business. They did it as an experiment, to see what can be done. Same deal here.

Moreover, Google plans to open the network to competitive service providers. This means you may choose to buy your service from a completely different company – possibly a local Austin service provider. You old-timers will remember the dialup modem days, when we used to be able to choose from a long list of Internet service providers. The Google open network would restore that choice, but this time running at gigabit speed.

Isn't this anti-competitive and bad for commercial services?

No, in fact it would boost competition to a higher level. That's good for industry and good for consumers.

Google would have to come into town as a competitive commercial service provider. There would be no giveaway incentives, and they would have to operate under terms that would be available to any other company that wants to build a network in Austin.

Google wants to prove that gigabit open networks are commercially viable. To do that, they have to build it with no special deals and make it commercially successful.

What can I do to help bring gigabit Internet to Austin?

Who is behind Big Gig Austin?

We're volunteers – people from Austin who are passionate about making our broadband the best in the nation. We formed to provide grassroots, community support to the City of Austin response to the Google opportunity.

Tell us your idea!
Tell us your idea about how
Austin might use a gigabit network!

We want Big Gig!
Tell Google we want
gigabit Internet!