Portland Pursues Google Fiber

EyesSpyVia Tech Crunch:

In a few years time, when you come to retire in Portland, chances are that you will be able to subscribe to Google Fiber. Earlier this week, the city took another step in allowing Google to expand its gigabit fiber network to “fiberhoods” in the city by approving a franchise agreement with the company. Google plans to invest over $300 million in this project, the Oregonian reported earlier this week . . . .

But, given the nature of the franchise agreements in place in Portland, the roll out could prove a bit complicated:

. . . .To illustrate the issues around local ISP monopolies, it’s also worth noting that potential subscribers in apartment buildings may not get to enjoy Fiber anytime soon. Because building owners have likely already signed agreements with existing cable providers, Google will have to negotiate with them separately to bring Fiber to those buildings (which in the case of Portland means some of its most affluent areas may actually be the last to get Fiber). Google, however, also plans to launch a city-wide WiFi network, so even those who can’t get access to Fiber itself will likely benefit from this project.

On the other hand, Seattle Times columnist Brier Dudley thinks Portland may be giving away the store:  “It’s still surprising, though, that a place known for demanding humanely raised organic produce wouldn’t also ask Google for universal service.”  You can read is take on the deal here.

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