Google Fiber goes wireless in Austin, bringing 1Gbps internet to apartment dwellers

(Image credit: Google)

Apparently Google Fiber is not entirely finished expanding its gigabit internet service. Through its Webpass subsidiary, residents who live in apartments and condos in the Austin, Texas area can sign up for wireless service, with speeds of up to 1Gbps.

You may recall that Google had ambitious plans of eventually blanketing the US in gigabit connectivity. Armed with comparatively attractive pricing and TV + internet package bundles, there was quite a bit of excitement in the early going.

Unfortunately, Google hit the pause button on its gigabit expansion in 2016, after rolling out to around just a dozen major cities. As far as I know, Google still has not decided to resume installing fiber networks in more cities, which is both costly and sometimes met with resistance by other ISPs. It's also challenging; an installation gaffe prompted Google to stop servicing Louisville, Kentucky with fiber internet earlier this year.

Be that as it may, Google acquired Webpass in 2016, and through that venture has expanded gigabit internet to more areas. Up until now, both companies have operated separately.

That just changed, however, with the two joining forces to offer "Google Fiber Webpass" in Austin. 

"This is the first time we’re bringing the best of both Google Fiber and Webpass together in the same city, and we’re excited to have another way to deliver super fast, reliable Internet to even more customers in Austin. We’re starting downtown and are adding new buildings to our network as quickly as possible," Google stated in a blog post.

What this really boils down to is an expansion into apartments and condos, through Webpass and its wireless gigabit connectivity. It doesn't sound like Google is actually laying more fiber cables into the ground, as it has already been serving Austin residents 1Gbps service since 2014.

Where things go from here remains to be seen. As for apartment and condo dwellers in Austin (as well as everyone else in the area), Google Fiber service runs $70 per month with no contracts and "quick and easy installation."

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).