Google is moving Fiber into Portland soon, after it received approval to expand its franchise into the city.“It is such a good fit with who we are and who we will be in this city,” boasted Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, writes The Oregonian.
The Internet giant will decide by the end of the year whether to go through with plans to expand in Portland and five suburbs of the city. The Portland city hall expects that Google will spend at least $300 million in the area in order to build a network to deliver high speed Internet.
That is if Google decides to proceed. The Internet giant is currently still looking at local regulations, as well as access to utility poles and the region’s topography. In this manner, it should be able to figure out if the network is a good idea from a technical and financial point of view.
The new decision taken by authorities aims to remove one big regulatory issue by creating an agreement that gives Google plenty of room for flexibility in the way it operates.
The agreement was originally reached in April, but it only went under vote recently. According to the plan, Google will pay a 5 percent franchise fee on its video revenues, while the company will be exempt from a 3 percent fee that helps cover the cost of public access, educational and governmental programming.
The Internet giant has agreed, however, to provide free Internet service to unspecified nonprofits and outdoor Wi-Fi networks and offer free Internet service, at 5 megabits per second in a package that only has the user pay a $300 one-time installation fee.
Google provides gigabit speeds about 100 times faster than what other network providers are offering to customers and at about the same prices as other companies offer their top packages.
The company has been looking to expand as much as possible, but the process has been difficult. This is, on one hand, due to the bureaucratic troubles of the entire plan, as well as the rather lengthy process that the company has to go through to expand its network.
So far, Google Fiber is available in Kansas, Austin, Texas and Provo, but more are to come since Google eyes over 30 cities as it considers the future of the platform and who is to take care of it in the long run.