One can only assume that part of the agreement will insist that Google Fiber smokes pot, wears skinny jeans, and is LGBT friendly, free-range and “fair trade” though this didn’t make it into the City Council’s minutes from the meeting on Wednesday.
With the agreement, Portland will join Provo, UT, Austin, TX, and others to receive the service that regularly ranks first in broadband cities where it as been installed.
Unanimous vote for Google Fiber
The vote was unanimous and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) will be forced to pay a 5% “franchise fee” on video revenues. It will not, however, be subject to a 3% “PEG” fee that Portland charges Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NASDAQ:CMCSK). For residents who choose to opt-in to Google Fiber service they will be asked to pay a one-time signup fee of $300. Additionally, Google will setup no less than three free Wi-Fi networks in different area of the city as well as providing free Internet service of for yet to be determined nonprofits.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) will not be forced to service the entirety of Portland but that shouldn’t come as a terrific surprise, it’s actually standard operating procedure for Google as it sets up its network. Google plans to hold “fiber rallies” in order to determine which neighborhoods are most interested in Fiber and to get an understanding of demand throughout the city. The basic plan offers 5Mbps service but the company would certainly like to see companies and individuals signup for its premium offerings that cost more for the end-user.
If there is an area of contention for both consumers and Google it is how to wire apartment buildings that may have contracts in place with Comcast. Google will likely have to negotiate with the buildings’ owners on an individual basis before installation begins if it begins at all.
Still not a “done deal”
It should be mentioned that while Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has an agreement in place with the city council, that doesn’t mean that Google is coming to town quite yet. There are a number of factors that could lead Google to say “thanks but no thanks.” Among these are regulations that give the company access to the city’s utility poles and how it will go about the installation of around 200 utility cabinets it need to both make Fiber work and make the service available for maintenance.
Additionally, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) won’t be coming to Portlandia if its unable to negotiate agreements with five Portland suburbs that make it worth Google’s time. All that said, who in the greater Portland area wouldn’t want the fast near free service?