In the home of the South by Southwest festival, where “keeping it weird” is the city’s unofficial motto, Google Fiber is already inspiring a thriving community of techies with bold and sometimes offbeat ideas. Even a year before Google rolls out its 1-Gbps Internet service, anticipation is fueling Texas-size dreams as unique as the city of Austin itself.

Google said the rollout will be to residential customers first, but it will also have small business options. Austin will be the second Google Fiber rollout, following the introduction in Kansas City last year. Google also plans to bring Google Fiber to Provo, Utah, late this year.

Google Fiber will be the catalyst for the local Austin tech community, said Jennifer Bullard, a local entrepreneur and executive director of the Captivate Conference & Expo for gaming, film and music tech. “It will validate Austin as a tech hotspot and attract talent from around the country,” she said. Bullard is one of many locals we caught up with to talk about Google Fiber.

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