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Portland Agrees to Google Fiber Franchise Agreement
by Karl Bode 09:32AM Friday Jun 13 2014
Surely fueled by some Gigabit IPA, Portland's City Council this week voted unanimously to approve a new franchise agreement with Google Fiber. The agreement, which includes a 5% franchise fee from Google, extends until 2024 and allows Google to start planing out potential placement of fiber huts and future "fiberhoods." Portland leaders had to strip back some restrictions on utility cabinet placement to make Google happy.

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Before Portland residents get too excited this doesn't mean Portland is getting Google Fiber.

Google is working with 34 potential cities to clear the path for potential deployment, and other cities like San Antonio have struck similar preliminary arrangements. Cities may not learn which city or cities are actually going to be selected until late this year or early next, and it's likely to be only one or two of them.

Google's plan appears to be several fold: generate additional free marketing in the media as cities vie for Google's affection, keep an eye out for the best potential Google Fiber cities, prompt a competitive response from complacent, uncompetitive ISPs, and help leaders figure out the best way to streamline broadband deployment in their cities (using Google's "fiber ready" checklist) -- whether it's Google that winds up doing the deployment or not.

While for most of these cities this will be little more than "fiber to the press release," Google's efforts are least opening up the conversation regarding municipal broadband bans and a general lack of market competition in a lot of these target markets.

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biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

Why?

Why contact 34 cities and then choose only 1 or 2? If they wanted that few they could have just asked those 1 or 2 and more than likely gotten a positive response. I think this next deployment will be bigger than you think.
--
isheavenforreal.com

mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:14

Re: Why?

Getting laws changed and removing other roadblocks allows _anyone_ to deploy fiber, and THAT is the ultimate goal. If a city doesn't "win" Gfiber it may inspire someone who lives in the area to go "well then I'll do it!"

/M
existenz

join:2014-02-12
kudos:2

Re: Why?

^Yeah, that. Google wants more faster/unlimited/broader access out there no matter who deploys it. They are facilitating the process to cut red tape in other cities with intent to make it easier for existing ISPs as well.

fiosultimate

join:2014-06-09
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit

1 recommendation

In other words this is Google's version of fiber to the press cause they have no interest whatsoever in actually becoming an ISP,in 5 years when they dump the cities with their escape clauses they built into the contracts u too will understand, they too have shareholders who want 20% ROI,and no cities are not like kids u can't entice them with candy this is just some mayors looking for publicity
existenz

join:2014-02-12
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Google Fiber

Re: Why?

Google seems to be committing to at least 10 years now. They used to say that the 'free' 5Mbps service is 'free' for 7 years. They recently sent a flyer out that now says 10 years. They didn't update that on the website yet but the flyer said that, seeming to imply they are in for this for a while - not that they are legally bound to. As long as ISPs try to create more constraints - data caps, obscure fees, discouraged to upgrade, etc., Google may have good reason to stay in the ISP biz. I can say as a Gfiber user they are completely blowing other ISPs out of the water - not even close to quality of service and support.

fiosultimate

join:2014-06-09
San Antonio, TX
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Why?

Yes, just look what they did to Motorola.....errrr never mind, they are responsible to their shareholders , they are not a charity , they are just rocking the both, seeing what they scare ISP into doing, that's smart of them, but Google fiber will go nationwide about the time pigs fly, just like most people and communities would like free internet, sorry we are not France
existenz

join:2014-02-12
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Google Fiber

Re: Why?

It was clear even at first that Google acquired Moto just for the patents. The difference is they don't need to influence smartphone makers as much as they may need to have influence on ISPs, who can impact Google's biz model.

Google could always back out and sell the networks, which is fine, but would be difficult to argue they had zero influence on ISPs even to this point. Few if any were offering a Gbit for under $300 until they entered the picture.

mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:14
How did we get from "dumping the existing network in 5 years" to "Google sucks because they're not going to wire up the entire country!!!" ? I don't think anyone ever thought Google was going to wire up the whole country. Heck, I doubt they're going to wire up the entire city wherever they do deploy.

mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:14

1 edit
I hate to burst your bubble bud, but even if Google does "dump" those cities they're not going to just shut down the network. _Someone_ will still be running a gigabit network.

fg8578

join:2009-04-26
Salem, OR

2 recommendations

said by biochemistry:

Why contact 34 cities and then choose only 1 or 2? If they wanted that few they could have just asked those 1 or 2 and more than likely gotten a positive response. I think this next deployment will be bigger than you think.

Until you contact them, you don't know what kind of deal they are willing to offer, or even if they are willing to agree to your minimum set of demands.
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361

Re: Why?

The nation wants Google Fiber and will do whatever it takes to get it. Recall all the desperate cities that lost out to Kansas City? They don't need to contact 34 cities to only get 2 willing to accept their demands. The only other possibility is trying to scare the incumbents into wiring the cities themselves. However despite a couple fiber to the press releases by at&t, it doesn't look like that plan has worked if that was indeed their goal.
--
isheavenforreal.com

alchav

join:2002-05-17
Saint George, UT
Reviews:
·ooma
said by biochemistry:

Why contact 34 cities and then choose only 1 or 2? If they wanted that few they could have just asked those 1 or 2 and more than likely gotten a positive response. I think this next deployment will be bigger than you think.

Why do you guys think Fiber deployment is so easy, I guess most just feel string and drop the Fiber from the closes pole and move on. Good Fiber deployment is laid underground very neat and out of site. The ones Google picks I'm sure take the time to plan everything correctly, and not expect Google pay and lay their Fiber. Google has precise instructions, and the Cities that follow these rules I'm sure will be at the Top of the List.

chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH

Re: Why?

My town is all poles so if Google wanted to come all they would need to do is put it on the poles!

alchav

join:2002-05-17
Saint George, UT
Reviews:
·ooma

Re: Why?

said by chip89:

My town is all poles so if Google wanted to come all they would need to do is put it on the poles!

reply to fiosultimate
said by Mackey
How did we get from "dumping the existing network in 5 years" to "Google sucks because they're not going to wire up the entire country!!!" ? I don't think anyone ever thought Google was going to wire up the whole country. Heck, I doubt they're going to wire up the entire city wherever they do deploy.

I really don't know Google's plan for Fiber Deployment, but their Headquarters is in Mountain View, CA and everything is underground and very neat. I would kind of doubt that their plan for Fiber Deployment would include stringing it from poles. So I would say the Cities and Communities at the top of their list, would be the ones that eliminate and clean out obsolete poles.

As for wiring up the entire country, I think Google just wants to light a fire under Cities and Communities to join the Fiber Infrastructure Revolution to create a Country wide Network. Then the vision would be for ISP's and Content Providers to connect to this Network.

Flyonthewall

@206.248.154.x

1 recommendation

Because it drives the incumbents from apathy to action.

If some competitor starts making noises about setting up in your footprint, and the people start hopping on board, how much do you stand to lose by sitting on your funding and paying out to shareholders instead of actually trying to compete?

This is why they did it. To force a response. If no one steps to the plate in some of those cities I fully expect Google to follow through and install, and then they reap the rewards, and the rest can eat it.

mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:14

Re: Because it drives the incumbents from apathy to action.

It's all a numbers game. They know Google isn't going to deploy to all 34 cities, so if the cost of upgrading their networks in all 34 cities is more then just giving 1 or 2 to Google then they'll let Google have them.

/M
elefante72

join:2010-12-03
East Amherst, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Because it drives the incumbents from apathy to action.

Its like shooting fish in a barrel. They announce cities, gauge response, and determine the most profitable markets. But that is way more predatory than the regular operators (somewhat). Not that I am against it, but not once is GOOG saying lets wire rural WVa.

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 recommendation

...this doesn't mean Portland is getting Google Fiber

Yup it's true Google might be busting your hump for nothing.
You change your laws, you offer up city land and to forgo taxes, you tatoo'd google your newborns face, and still Google might walk away leaving you with nothing in 2024.

don't look at it like they are going to MAYBE fiber 1 or 2 cities, see that they are going to screw up to 34 cities. "you were waiting on US?" while other cable and fiber projects go elsewhere.
Papageno

join:2011-01-26
Portland, OR

Re: ...this doesn't mean Portland is getting Google Fiber

Maybe it'll put the fear of G(oogle) into Comcast and CenturyLink so they actually try to compete on price.
puck0114

join:2005-12-24
Portland, OR

Re: ...this doesn't mean Portland is getting Google Fiber

LOL CenturyLink
Papageno

join:2011-01-26
Portland, OR

Re: ...this doesn't mean Portland is getting Google Fiber

I'm with you that CenturyLink in most areas of Portland (mine included) is no real competitor to Comcast in the broadband space.
political_i

join:2013-11-12
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Charter

Re: ...this doesn't mean Portland is getting Google Fiber

Centurylink isn't much of a competitor ANYWHERE. There are notable exceptions if you are right next to a VDSL2 DSLAM otherwise, some areas of Bozeman can only get 1.5 to 3 megs. Even in housing built in 2006. For the millions they spend lobbying, they could probably do some VDSL upgrades and fiber to new sub-divisions.

I'd still be interested to see if new subdivisions are hooked to fiber and then everyone competes for the the customer on the end, would that make more sense than laying fiber that might not be used?
betam4x

join:2002-10-12
Newton, NJ
Reviews:
·FreedomPop
You laugh, but in my area centurylink's gigabit fiber service (over existing fiber) is close to $50,000/mo. They have the entire town wired, every street, every address, but that's the price to pay to connect. The local cable company can't do that.
--
My beta Ruby on Rails tutorial site!

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by Papageno:

Comcast and CenturyLink so they actually try to compete on price.

Why? Google isn't there , won't even commit to coming there even when the city made all the concessions Google asked for.
In the mean time CC and CL SHOULD push the city to receive the same perks, while ALSO not having to agree to lay fiber.
Papageno

join:2011-01-26
Portland, OR

1 edit

Re: ...this doesn't mean Portland is getting Google Fiber

I'm sure they will, why not?

Of course, Comcast hasn't (to my knowledge) made any serious noises whatsoever about installing Gigabit FttH and then only charging 70 or so bucks/mo. for it , either, so my sympathy for them is somewhat limited.

alchav

join:2002-05-17
Saint George, UT
Reviews:
·ooma

Re: ...this doesn't mean Portland is getting Google Fiber

said by Papageno:

I'm sure they will, why not?

Of course, Comcast hasn't (to my knowledge) made any serious noises whatsoever about installing Gigabit FttH and then only charging 70 or so bucks/mo. for it , either, so my sympathy for them is somewhat limited.

You guys have to stop and smell the Fiber! It's not about competition with price, but a whole new way of thinking and preparing for the future. The Cities and Communities that see Fiber as the Infrastructure of choice will succeed, and the ones that settle for obsolete Twisted Copper and Coax will fail.
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH

Re: ...this doesn't mean Portland is getting Google Fiber

Those same cities you claim will succeed are the same ones that claimed jobs would come- and yet there is no proof of that and major companies are not moving in. And property values are no up nor are those cities building record number of homes for those trying to move in.

alchav

join:2002-05-17
Saint George, UT
Reviews:
·ooma

Re: ...this doesn't mean Portland is getting Google Fiber

said by ITGeeks:

Those same cities you claim will succeed are the same ones that claimed jobs would come- and yet there is no proof of that and major companies are not moving in. And property values are no up nor are those cities building record number of homes for those trying to move in.

Well it's a little early to asses the Fiber value to Cities and Communities, but out here in the West you can definitely see the change. The Community in Palm Desert where I came from has Verizon FiOS, and it is Thriving. Google is in Provo, Utah, and Salt Lake City has Fiber where Oracle just announced it is moving in. The Community here in ST George has Fiber, and they are selling houses left and right. So I think I made my point, Fiber is the Future.

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by Papageno:

Of course, Comcast hasn't (to my knowledge) made any serious noises whatsoever about installing Gigabit FttH and then only charging 70 or so bucks/mo. for it , either, so my sympathy for them is somewhat limited.

except this might be a no brainer for Comcast to jump on the bandwagon (in some city, maybe not Portland), they already have fiber all over the place in Portland feeding the HSI plant and could likely deploy much more rapidly (particularly if they began planning as Google begins negoieting the new term which are pretty sweet only a 5 percent franchise fee, video services not considered cable and not a telcom service company (take that pesky FCC) and the price is not locked to $70, in fact the franchise it just needs to notify the city of the fee schedule for non discrimination purposes. and provider is allowed to pick and choose where and when they build.
so CC could beat Google to fiber all or part of the city charge $150 to start and see if Google still would build (Comcast could lock up all the "CO" spots Google wants to use to make it tougher. If goggle tries to over build CC could cut the price (having banked anything extra from the $150)

Even CL might jump at those terms, or at least sign an agreement (no action on this new FTTH network means no 5% to the city so it's very cheap to challenge Google, just as it's cheap for Google to pretend they are going to build there.
Or Google could sit and Comcast and CL could decide it's not worth putting an extra dime in Portland until Google makes up it's mind.
So you might get a really competitive environment or you might see nothing for 10 years.
Too bad Google didn't /won't COMMIT.

mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:14

Re: ...this doesn't mean Portland is getting Google Fiber

said by tshirt:

except this might be a no brainer for Comcast to jump on the bandwagon

Even CL might jump at those terms

And then Google would say "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"

They really don't care /who/ wires up the cities, they just want them wired.

/M

tshirt
Premium
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: ...this doesn't mean Portland is getting Google Fiber

My point is by playing the "I dare you" game they may leave Portland or other cities, waiting because the other ISP's may stop investment in cities on Google's maybe list.

The other players are capable of running the numbers and knowing at the google price point only 1 ISP (at most) can survive. And maybe not even one, so they would be wise to avoid a head on battle.
Everyone Knows Google is trying to them to build out because google can extract search info value no matter who build and that that is what takes Google above a projected breakeven, but no one else can survive at the Google price, financed by Google's imaginery stock value.
yet Google alone can never build out everywhere nor will they serve everyone.
puck0114

join:2005-12-24
Portland, OR
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Stephouse Wireless
If Comcast and CL (*snicker*) get the same franchise agreement as Google negotiated, then they will also need to stick to the same terms and provide the same level of service. Google is getting no concessions unless they provide the agreed to services, so Comcast and CL certainly aren't entitled to it based on their current services.

The entire franchise agreement (makes for dry reading) is here: »www.portlandonline.com/a ··· a=489490

••••
Papageno

join:2011-01-26
Portland, OR
Hey, I have no problem with the incumbents getting the same deal as Google will (if and when they deploy). At least with Google in the picture FttH is being talked about as a serious thing. I'd prefer if the city itself just showed the foresight to invest in muni fiber but we live in the land of Bill Sizemore types so we can't have nice things.
ITGeeks

join:2014-04-20
Cleveland, OH
Right, look at Austin and all the other cities they have contracts with. Austin doesn't even have anything yet. It will be 2024 until Portland gets a hut put in.
chelpt

join:2008-05-24
La Crosse, WI

Googles does to Fiber Deployment at it did 4G LTE

Did any one notice in the article that it sounded like the city of Portland, OR gave the green light for any utility to be deploying these fiber cabinets across town? The fact that it revealed a list of 34 cities that it is trying to get into may not be just for the benefit of Google to get into those cities. But Google is also trying to get these cities to change their way of thinking.

I think there was another article not to long ago here on Broadband Reports that seemed to lament the idea that Seattle will allow for more of these cabinets to allow Centurylink to build out higher bandwidth connections. But now that Google wants to do it, it is suddenly OK? Either way, I've noticed many articles about all of these towns that Google wants to get into, but has said they will only choose one. I've always wondered what was the point of releasing a list? Most ISPs only make their choice public after they started building.

Remember back when Google was making bids for the 4G LTE signals? And part of the requirement was once bids got beyond a certain threshold certain things had to become public? Part of that is 4G phones have to be interchangeable between certain network types. It opened up competition between phone manufacturers.

Now, we have Google doing the same thing with Fiber to the Property (FTTP). The real goal is to change the game in FTTP deployment. I bet Google realizes that better broadband deployment isn't just about the local ISP being willing to deploy. But it is also about the local municipal governments being too stuck up with allowing these builds. Or they try to get too much money from the local ISP to make it worth trying. So now Google is revealing that it has always been a two sided game between local (and even state) government and the ISPs.

I think, for too long, people wanted to just blame the ISP for not getting these faster speeds out there. Now that Google has placed the carat in front of these cities, maybe faster deployments will start happening. And all Google had to do was make a list of 34 cities. Brilliant!