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Big Gig Austin
Community Involvement Report

Big Gig Austin Website

screenshot: home page

The Big Gig Austin website ( provides a central portal to community activity, in support of the local effort.

The website was created by volunteers at the LBJ School of Government Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Gary Chapman, senior lecturer at the LBJ School, directed the main website effort.

The website contains information on the RFI process, and encourages Austin residents to participate.

It also anchors several external community assets:

See the Social Media and Videos pages for more information.

Finally, the website provides two custom applications, developed by our volunteers. They are described below.

Interest Map Mash-Up

screenshot: broadband interest map page

The LBJ School volunteers designed an application to collect addresses and plot them on a map.

Visitors were asked to indicate their interest in receiving gigabit broadband at home by filling out a form with their street address. As of Friday, March 26, over 2,600 people volunteered that information.

The addresses were then plotted on a Google map, which you can view at the web site.

What surprised us the most is how widespread the interest is in gigabit broadband. Demand is strong across all areas of town. Population density is one of the most strongly correlating factors. These data suggest that chances of success are good, regardless of where Google might choose to locate fiber in Austin.

We would be glad to share anonymized data with Google for the purpose of siting and demand mapping. Contact us at the email address in the footer.

Crowdsourced Ideas: What Would You Do With a Big Gig?

screenshow: ideas page

We asked website visitors to help us come up with creative ideas on how Austin residents might use a super-fast, gigabit fiber network, open to all services.

As of Friday, March 26, we received 98 different proposals, some quite detailed and some remarkably creative..

You may view the detailed results here.

Below is a summary of some of the strongest proposals.

Enhanced Education

"Virtual field trips to anywhere in the world!"

"...set up meetings and to take classes over the network, with high-def video and high-quality audio for as many people as wanted to join."

"Imagine a Spanish class that was able to do an immersion unit by doing a live video chat with another community in a Spanish speaking country or for our disabled youth to be able to join in a hiking fieldtrip or something with their fellow classmates. "


"Austin can share its live music with the world at extremely low cost."

" high-def movies very quickly."

"Unable to attend an Austin Film Fest in person? No worries, buy a virtual ticket and see it from home anywhere in the world on your own time!"

Home Security

"Cheap & small CMOS image sensors (cameras like in your phone) are going everywhere: front door, back door, kid's room, garage, back yard, fish tank, etc. Imagine monitoring dozens of outbound HD video streams from anywhere."

"...keep in touch with my kids and their care providers."


"...allow people to work from home in ways that only a high bandwidth, low latency, fast upstream network would allow. A gigabit broadband connection would allow remote desktop, video conferencing, and work on high bandwidth applications that Austin workers use."

Public Safety & Utility

"We could have hundreds of live traffic cams from around the city streaming real-time traffic conditions as well as weather."

"Remote Electric, Gas and Water metering."

Enhanced Accessibility Options

"...ideal for deaf, hard-of-hearing users"

Data Storage

"With broadband speeds of 100 Mbps or faster, the idea of using a network-based service for file storage and backups becomes feasible."

"...virtualized storage where your precious photos, music & data is stored, managed, and protected remotely so you (or someone you trust and authorize) can access it from anywhere."

Health Care

"The ability to consult with physicians in real time, to share data and video conference without static, interruptions or lag could save lives and enhance the quality of care given to Austin residents and visitors. "

"when a health specialist isn't available locally, real time evaluations of the person can be conducted remotely with better reliability and speed."

Content Creation/Editing

"No longer would it be necessary to travel to Hollywood to create visual effects for a motion picture. The carbon footprint in motion picture post-production could be greatly lowered through reduced travel, as well as employment for professionals here could be expanded."

"Imagine your bass player is in Amsterdam, your drummer is in Melbourne, Your guitar player is in Austin, and you singer is visiting his sister in Seattle... That's a pretty big gig!"