WEDNESDAY, FEB. 19, 2014 – Portland is on a short list of cities working with Google to explore the possibility of bringing the ultra high speed Google Fiber broadband network to the city.
“Google is looking for communities that serve as hubs for innovation. And that’s Portland,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “Our culture of creativity and coalition-building makes this the ideal spot for ultra-high-speed broadband.”
Portland is among 34 cities nationwide being considered for inclusion in Google Fiber’s high-speed network. Places like Kansas City, Kansas, and Provo, Utah, have led the way. Among this new class of potential sites are Portland, Gresham, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Tigard and Hillsboro.
“There is no question that the Internet has literally rewired how we work and live, and it still has so much potential to improve our lives,” Hales said. “Abundant, high-speed broadband access will make our community stronger and will lay the foundations of economic development for our future.”
Kevin Lo, general manager of Google Fiber, said the company will work closely with Mayor Hales and city leaders on a joint planning process to explore what it would take to build a brand new fiber-optic network capable of delivering these gigabit speeds throughout Portland. Google will begin compiling a detailed study of local factors that might affect construction plans.
Simultaneously, Mayor Hales and city leaders will begin meetings with Google to discuss what it would take to plan and prepare the city for a fiber project of this scale.
“Communities with abundant high-speed Internet grow stronger because there’s greater potential to create jobs, drive economic growth, and help students and families get access to essential resources” Lo said. “City leaders like Charlie Hales are stepping up to see what they can do to make their cities ready for the fiber-optic networks that are the future. We look forward to working with Portland in the coming months to see if we can build the next chapter of the Internet together, on gigabit speeds.”
Google will provide an update on which cities will get Google Fiber by the end of this year, Lo said.
Google Fiber is an Internet and TV service that provides Internet connectivity that is up to 100-times faster than the basic broadband, along with hundreds of HD TV channels. Google Fiber currently is available in Kansas City, Kansas, Kansas City, Mo., and Provo Utah, and will be available in Austin,Texas, later this year.
For more information about this announcement, visit the Google Fiber blog http://googlefiberblog.blogspot.com/