Google Fiber says it's still months away from turning up service in Austin

Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) has told eagerly awaiting residential customers who have signed up to get its service in Austin, Texas, that they may have to wait a number of months before they get a 1 Gbps connection. It clearly places Google Fiber behind AT&T (NYSE: T) and Grande Communications, which already offer the service in the city.

In one e-mail to a potential user, Google Fiber said it still has more work to do and would not provide a timeline on when it would be able to connect to that home.

"The truth is, we still have a lot of work to do before we can schedule your in-home installation appointment and we don't know exactly how long it's going to take," notes the email to one neighborhood that was obtained by "Our current plan is to start in-home installations in [the community] in the summer and we think it will take us about 3 months to install most of our customers (in) your fiberhood."

While Google Fiber was the first to announce its intent to offer service in Austin, its two key rivals, AT&T and Grande Communications, are already offering service in Austin. Eligible users can get AT&T's 1 Gbps offering for $70 a month, but it requires users to agree to have their Internet activity tracked by the telco. Alternatively, Grande continues to build out its 1 Gbps FTTP service at $65 a month.

For its part, Google Fiber has opened and closed service sign-ups in Austin's Bluebonnet and Lady Bird Lake neighborhoods. It is also taking sign-ups from three other area communities.

Mark Strama, head of Google Fiber Austin, told that Google is sending out e-mails to communities about their installation timelines.

"That's our purpose in being very specific about how long people will wait, so that they can make their plans accordingly. We don't want anybody to be without Internet service," Strama said.

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