Residents of Portland, Oregon – you’re getting Google Fiber. Google has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to build out its Google Fiber cities. Now, Portland, Oregon is the next to join the ranks of gigabit cities nationwide. The City Council officially approved a franchise agreement with Google to provide the service.
Google plans to invest $300 million in the Oregon project. Past Google cities have included Kansas City, Kansas; Provo, Utah; and Austin, Texas. Other expansion plans are on the way. The project will offer free internet services to users who pay a one-time $300 fee. Free Wifi networks will also be available in parts of the city, and non-profits may also be able to access free internet services.
Similar franchise agreements are on the table in the five primary suburbs around Portland, and regulatory review is underway inside Portland and the metro area to determine how best to provide infrastructure for the service.
Not every resident will have Google fiber access immediately, it will depend on this regulatory review and also if you live in an apartment building already serviced by one of the big telecos accessing Google Fiber may be more difficult.
News of the Portland addition to Google Fiber follows municipal broadband efforts underway in Colorado. And is a solid counterpoint to the idea being pushed by the telecom companies that gigabit broadband access is a luxury service.