Hipsters rejoice! Google Fibre, the company’s ultra high-speed internet service, may be coming to Portland soon.
Google Fibre recieved unanimous approval from Portland’s city council, according to The Oregonian. Google Fibre is only up and running in a few U.S. cities at the moment, but the company hopes to bring blazing fast internet to cities nationwide in the coming months and years. Google is already eyeing Atlanta, Nashville, and Charlotte as potential spots to expand the service.
Portland Mayor Charlie Hayes sounded enthusiastic about the council’s decision to work with Google. “It is such a good fit with who we are and who we will be in this city,” he said.
But the deal is far from done. If Google wants to provide internet in Portland, it will have to jump through some serious hoops outlined in a preliminary agreement that was reached in April. Some of those terms include:
- Google will pay a 5 per cent fee on its video revenues (Google has expressed some ambivalence about its ability to do this in Portland)
- Google will provide free internet to up to 100 local nonprofits in lieu of a 3 per cent “PEG fee” that the city usually charges utility providers
- Google will offer free internet at five megabits a second to consumers willing to pay a $US300 installation fee
- The city will participate in a “joint defence” with Google if it is ever accused of giving the company preferential access to Portland residents
If Google really wants to thrive in Portland, it will have to meet the city on all of these terms. It will also have to secure other rights, such as the ability to use the city’s utility poles (owned by Portland General Electric, Century Link, and others) for its fibre cabinets.
Inserting Google Fibre into a city’s infrastructure is far from a quick process. Residents in Kansas City, one of the first cities to approve the service, have complained over how long the process has taken.
“It’s a very physical process,” said Joe Reardon, who was mayor of Kansas City when it was selected for installation.
Cost estimates have been nebulous so far. The Oregonian initially reported the network will cost Google $US300 million to set up, but Google has since backpedaled on that number.
You can read Google’s agreement with the City of Portland here.