Google's gigabit-Internet service in Austin priced at US$70 per month

The broadband service is already in Kansas City and Provo, Utah

Michael Hernandez works for a startup in downtown Austin, Texas. He's one of the many excited Fiber fans who are hoping it is installed downtown, first.

Michael Hernandez works for a startup in downtown Austin, Texas. He's one of the many excited Fiber fans who are hoping it is installed downtown, first.

Google will offer a basic version of its broadband service for no monthly charge when it launches soon in Austin, Texas, with the 1Gbps service priced at US$70 per month.

The basic plan will provide download speeds of up to 5Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds of 1Mbps, according to Google, which announced its pricing plans Monday and said consumers in some neighborhoods will be able to sign up next month. Customers will pay a one-time "construction" fee of $300, but there will be no monthly charges after that.

The middle-tier plan that provides Google Fiber's promised 1Gbps service will be priced at $70 per month, with the construction fee waived for a one-year commitment. That plan includes 1TB of cloud storage across Google Drive, Gmail and Google+ photos, the company said.

The most tricked out plan will be priced at $130 per month. That includes the 1Gbps Internet service and 1TB cloud storage, as well as more than 150 TV channels and the ability to record up to 8 shows at once.

Google didn't say when the service will be switched on. It says it's made "great progress" but has "lots more digging to do" to lay the 1,000-plus miles of fiber that will make up the network.

It's also putting the finishing touches on its operations base for Austin Fiber at 201 Colorado Street.

Google Fiber is already available in Kansas City and Provo, Utah -- at prices similar to Austin -- with plans for expansion in a handful of others like Phoenix, Arizona, and Nashville, Tennessee.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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