Google Fiber’s first market was Kansas City. Since it was such a success, they now plan to open up another network in Portland towards late 2014. Locals can then sign up in 2015.
On Wednesday the city council voted in favor of a new agreement with Google Fiber’s franchise agreement. Riding on the success of Google Fiber in Kansas City, they are ready to take on the new challenges in Portland.
The Portland Mayor Charlie Hales agreed with his four colleagues on the city council in saying this project will fit in with Portland culture.
Goolge has the approval now signed and in order, but they need to still how to proceed in this experiment with the city and its five suburbs (Gresham, Tigard, Lake Oswego, Beaverton and Hillsboro.) Google isn’t entirely sure if they can effectively fund their fiber or use the current poles. Local regulations may put a stop to the installation.
The head of Portland’s Office for Community Technology, expects no less than $300 million to be spent in Portland to wire the network together.
Google Fiber can process pings 100 times faster than cable. Google was able to secure more flexibility in their negotiations than Comcast ever could.
The agreements go back to April, when they were first presented.
The city wants a cut of 5% of Google’s video profits. This includes Youtube. This cut would be passed down to the customer.
Google will not be required to pay a “PEG fee” which funds the Public Access TV. This charge is normally attached to your Cable bill. But, who watches public access TV anyway?
Google will offer free service to nonprofit organizations, as well as set up some free WiFi in local parks. The free internet will have a one time fee of $300.
Comcast is required to provide access in the entire city. But Google is exempt from that and, instead, will provide internet to areas with the highest populations. They will be called Fiberhoods.
The Portland City Attorney will promise to fight against the discrimination charges that Google will face for preferential treatment of their internet service.
What does Google plan to do next?
Google needs more franchises from each surrounding city. Nothing formal has been set in motion yet. But Google did meet a deadline for an evaluation step towards making Fiber a reality.
To properly wire Portland areas will take over 200 utility cabinets that will take up space on the sidewalks. Google must meet the strict regulations for the guidelines. However, there is a good chance the city will be very flexible with Google to achieve the expectation of realizing the greater good.
The utility poles are owned by the electric company, but they are willing to license space, which Google has to agree on.
In all the excitement at City Council, the members mentioned that maybe they might subsidize some of the one time fees for free internet. That way, they can install WiFi into some of the poor neighborhoods. This idea is not a part of the agreement with Google and probably will not go anywhere since, they already have to decide on which nonprofit organizations will get free internet with Google Fiber.
If the evidence of how the city treats the homeless camps and tent cities is any indication, you might not want to hold your breath of them following through on subsidizing any free money for internet to poor neighborhood ghettos.