AUSTIN (KXAN) - On Tuesday, Google and city leaders announced that Google Fiber will be available to Austin residents starting in 2014.
To understand the impact a gigabit network could have on Austin, you have to look past just what it could do in your home.
"When it comes to homes, imagine a world where you can upload photos in a matter of seconds and not hours," said Gerardo Interiano, Google's Austin Community Manager. "You can take your children's videos from the ballet performance or soccer game and put it up in a matter of minutes and not overnight where you're used to seeing that buffering wheel."
Interiano has visions of an entire city living without that buffering wheel, one where schools have no boundaries.
"We're excited to see what teachers and schools are going to do," Interiano said. "How can they interact better with scientists and mathematicians? How can we improve STEM education in the community?"
Then there's medicine.
Austin doctors Tracey Haas and Tim Gueramy see a big future for their company with Google Fiber.
The company, DocBookMD, is a smart phone platform for physicians that allow them to privately send images like x-rays and other medical records.
Gigabit service would make medical images clearer, in real time, giving patients a more accurate immediate diagnosis.
In addition, productivity for business could skyrocket. People who work from home will get more done without the wait.
"I think it is going to have a very good impact on the amount of work that I can do," Sean Flynn with Centerboard Technologies said.
Google will work with the city to determine what public places, such as schools and libraries, will get fiber.
But what will Google's presence in Austin look like in five years.
"I think the exciting thing about it is we don't know," Interiano said. "We're excited to see what the Austin community teaches us…how does this startup community that already exists here do with a gigabit?"
Google Fiber will also bring more jobs to Austin.
It will start with contractors who will be brought on to build the network. Google Fiber will also soon hire a small team of workers here in Austin.
"This is a long process," Interiano said. "Today we are announcing a beginning of the process. We're excited to be here, we're excited to get this process going."
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