June 20, 2014
Portland Looking to Lure Google Fiber to Town
By Oliver VanDervoort
Google (News - Alert) has been incredibly careful about where it rolls out its Fiber solution. Because of this, there are dozens of cities lining up to get the tech. Portland, Ore. is one such city looking to jump the line. The city has moved to make itself a frontrunner by offering the search engine giant a franchise agreement that would allow the company to install both fiber and Wi-Fi around the City of Roses.
One other reason why Google might feel as though Portland would be a good destination is the size of the city would make it possible for Google to pick and choose what parts of the city it rolls out Google Fiber. With more than 600,000, the city is too big to have the franchise agreement force the company to cover the entire area. Providing Google Fiber for an entire big city can simply be cost-prohibitive. That is why the firm has struck similar deals with Kansas City.
Despite the moves to try and get Google into town, Portland isn’t completely bending over backwards. The city is setting up some conditions if Google wants to move in and start competing with other ISPs like Comcast (News - Alert). Google would have to provide free Internet access to nonprofit companies. The firm would also have to offer up 5Mbps Internet service to customers in the coverage area for a $300 installation fee.
Portland’s city council has also said Google would have to install at least three free WiFi (News - Alert) networks around town. That particular caveat isn’t one that Google would seem to have much of a problem with. The company has been looking to set up wireless networks in public areas. This could basically be a way for the company to test out its offerings.
Whether or not Portland will be able to jump the long line of towns, such as Charlotte, N. C. has yet to be seen, but the Oregon town is certainly making a go of it.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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