Business

Gig.U yanks press release congratulating Austin on Google Fiber (updated)

Update: This story has been updated with a statement from Gig.U as well as information about tomorrow’s event hosted by the City of Austin.

A leaked press release from gigabit internet organization Gig.U congratulating the city of Austin and Google on their new Google Fiber partnership was quickly removed today.

Gig.U is a group that works with city governments and collegiate universities to bring a gigabit broadband Internet infrastructure for the community. The release was yanked because obviously neither Google nor the City of Austin have made an official announcement regarding the status of the speculated Google Fiber expansion. It’s entirely possible that someone jumped the gun in publicizing a congratulatory press release that ultimately used a media headline to highlight the Gig.U project and raise awareness about what it’s trying to do.

Engadget was able to grab the text from Gig.U’s release before it was removed, which we’ve pasted below.

(WASHINGTON) Today, Google announced it will add Austin, Texas to the Google Fiber project, joining Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri as American communities that have the power to bring next generation networks home. Gig.U, a coalition of three-dozen research university communities working together to support educational and economic development by accelerating the deployment of next generation networks, issued the following statement by Executive Director Blair Levin:

Gig.U congratulates Google and the City of Austin for their initiative to bring a world-leading network to one of the world’s great research university communities. This effort will pay enormous dividends for the country, as it will help develop the human capital America needs to lead a global economy that increasingly creates value with big data and big bandwidth. The Austin project, as well as the recent response to the North Carolina Next Generation Network project demonstrates that university communities are increasingly recognized as attractive partners for next generation network deployments because of the innovative spirit and demand profiles of their residents. We look forward to watching and learning from the exciting growth and innovation to come from the Google Fiber projects, and accelerating such efforts in Gig.U communities throughout the country.

Some news sites are reporting that this is a confirmation that Google Fiber is coming to Austin, Tex., but this is not entirely true. Both the Austin city government and Google are expected to make an announcement about something tomorrow, which VentureBeat will be attending.

When we reached out to Gig.U, who told us the press release was actually never meant for publication, and was sent under embargo to a few news organizations (including, it looks like Engadget) in the event that Google Fiber was announce.

“I wanted to note that the release we sent was embargoed and was sent in order for authors to have on hand in case an official announcement is made tomorrow, as has been reported by other news outlets,”¬† Gig.U program direction Ellen Satterwhite told VentureBeat.

While a bit presumptuous on Gig.U’s part, it otherwise doesn’t provide much proof that Fiber will be announced tomorrow. However, what is telling is that Texas Governor Rick Perry will be among those in attendance tomorrow, according to local broadcast news station KTBC.

Photo via Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat


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