The Portland, Oregon, City Council recently approved a franchise agreement with Google to deliver high-speed fiber Internet to the area. It’s not a solid victory just yet as no final decisions have been made but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
As per the agreement, Google would be subject to a five percent franchise fee on its video revenues and must offer free Internet service to residents willing to pay a one-time fee of $300. They’d also be required to provide free connectivity to select non-profits and set up three free Wi-Fi hotspots around the city.
Conversely, the search giant wouldn’t have to pay a three percent “PEG” fee like the one charged to rival Comcast nor will they be required to service every area of the city with fiber. As we’ve seen in other cities, which areas ultimately get fiber may come down to who wants it the most.
As mentioned above, no final decisions have been made in the matter just yet. The company still needs time to evaluate several aspects of the city including regulations on access to the city’s utility poles and utility cabinets as well as the overall topography of the region.
Google said they will decide by the end of the year whether or not to install fiber in Portland and its five surrounding suburbs: Gresham, Tigard, Lake Oswego, Beaverton and Hillsboro.