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Portland Edges Closer To Google Fiber

timothy posted about 2 months ago | from the bridge-and-router-city dept.

Google 106

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes Portland, Oregon has taken another step toward finalizing a franchise agreement with Google Fiber. In a unanimous vote, the city council has approved the prospective contract. While existing Internet Service Providers fume, Mary Beth Henry, manager of Portland's Office for Community Technology, pointed out that Google is prepared to make a major investment in the city's infrastructure, while the other firms are not. Ms. Henry also indicated that Google was not receiving any special treatment. Google spokesperson, Jenna Wandres, responded to events in an email, saying, "There's still a lot of work to do beyond this one agreement, but we hope to provide an update about whether we can bring Fiber here later this year."

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Here's yer free market, telco's (5, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | about 2 months ago | (#47224009)

You wouldn't compete, or can't compete, so you lose. Now STFU.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (2, Interesting)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 2 months ago | (#47224171)

Who needs to compete when you have lobbyists?

Rest assured, the second they perceive Google as a real threat, there will be a bevy of laws passed to obstruct this sort of deal. Just like they've already passed laws in 30 states banning municipal broadband.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

swillden (191260) | about 2 months ago | (#47225275)

Who needs to compete when you have lobbyists?

Rest assured, the second they perceive Google as a real threat, there will be a bevy of laws passed to obstruct this sort of deal. Just like they've already passed laws in 30 states banning municipal broadband.

Google has lobbyists, too.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (2)

maomoa (1040372) | about 2 months ago | (#47225501)

Rest assured, the second they perceive Google as a real threat, there will be a bevy of laws passed to obstruct this sort of deal. Just like they've already passed laws in 30 states banning municipal broadband.

Yeah, that's not going to happen in this state, at least with Comcast. We can't even get fluoride in the water, but you could sure as shit bet those laws would be repealed through a voter initiative in the next election cycle.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (3, Informative)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 2 months ago | (#47226063)

Just like they've already passed laws in 30 states banning municipal broadband.

This isn't municipal broadband. It is a company following the rules for obtaining a franchise.

It's a demonstration that the "government monopoly" that is allegedly granted by means of a franchise agreement isn't as much of a dejure monopoly as is claimed.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (2)

rtb61 (674572) | about 2 months ago | (#47226689)

Of course that particular government could be a bit smarter and alter the contract so that Google only provides wholesale fibre to retail ISPs and if they want to provide a separate retail ISP service. This helps to ensure competition at least for most areas of service and ensures the fibre becomes and remains essential infrastructure. Whilst it might seem a disadvantage for Google, there are many advantages, less billing services, many marketing services, less resistance from existing small and medium ISPs and, more investors (a lot of those small and medium ISPs will seek to invest in Google Fibre to increase their own market base).

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 2 months ago | (#47226977)

Of course that particular government could be a bit smarter and alter the contract so that Google only provides wholesale fibre to retail ISPs and if they want to provide a separate retail ISP service.

I don't understand your incomplete sentence. "if they want to provide" then what? But it doesn't matter. The government cannot unilaterally change the contract, so if they want something Google doesn't, Google can walk.

less resistance from existing small and medium ISPs

Existing ISPs have very little to say over who else joins the party. The cable/telco people do because they're infrastructure providers who have had to negotiate franchises and expect equal treatment.

and ensures the fibre becomes and remains essential infrastructure.

Except it isn't. Fiber is one of many different kinds of transport for data. It is not, in and of itself, essential.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (4, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47224229)

Um, I live in the Portland metropolitan area, and I already have fiber to the house. Have had for years. From a telco. At least two telcos in this area have been offering fiber for some time. And let me tell you, as an alternate to Comcast, it is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

The free market has generally been fiber vs Comcast. The Comcast salescreature stops by my house about once a month trying to get me to change to them. Something to do with how many channels I'd get for a low low introductory price. I point out we haven't had cable TV, haven't for years, all we have is internet and phone, and we're thinking of dumping the land line. And he gets rude. Once he yelled at my wife. I called the office and complained. Of course, nothing came of it.

Let's assume Google for some reason lays fiber right next to what I'm using and offers the same speed at the same price. I'd be inclined to stick with what I have. Google makes their money off data mining and advertising. I'd feel uncomfortable having them as my internet provider.

So, rail against the free market if you must, but as far as I'm concerned,,, yeah, I'm good.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 months ago | (#47224267)

I live in NJ, and I have Comcast. I also have a fiber to my home, from Verizon, and I don't use it for two reasons: 1) it's more expensive than Comcrap (not by much), and 2) it's slower than Comcrap. Did you miss the recent rash of articles about Netflix and Verizon getting into a row about Verizon being too slow? I don't have that problem with Comcrap lately, after they did their peering agreement with Netflix.

Fiber from Verizon is most certainly not "the greatest thing since sliced bread". That's utterly insane.

And he gets rude. Once he yelled at my wife.

It'd be funny if a Comcast (or Verizon) salesperson did this in Texas or Florida and was shot.

I called the office and complained. Of course, nothing came of it.

You should have called the police and filed a report, then gone to court and gotten a restraining order against the company.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47224503)

I live in NJ, and I have Comcast. I also have a fiber to my home, from Verizon, and I don't use it for two reasons: 1) it's more expensive than Comcrap (not by much), and 2) it's slower than Comcrap. Did you miss the recent rash of articles about Netflix and Verizon getting into a row about Verizon being too slow? I don't have that problem with Comcrap lately, after they did their peering agreement with Netflix.

Fiber from Verizon is most certainly not "the greatest thing since sliced bread". That's utterly insane.

And he gets rude. Once he yelled at my wife.

It'd be funny if a Comcast (or Verizon) salesperson did this in Texas or Florida and was shot.

I called the office and complained. Of course, nothing came of it.

You should have called the police and filed a report, then gone to court and gotten a restraining order against the company.

Well, it's new jersey. I don't have any other explanation. I have 25 Mbps to the house, and with wife using the roku box downstairs and daughter using the netflix appliance upstairs and me torrenting RHEL 7 beta, we're all good. I *can* swamp out the connection with enough torrent activity, but I really have to work at it. But mostly, the fiber has just been dead nuts reliable, unlike Comcast, and the few times I've had to call Frontier over the last several years, they've been pleasant and effective, again, totally unlike Comcast. [1]

"Speed" from an internet provider is like "mips" used to be for CPU manufacturers. Once you get above 15 Mb or so, most people will see no difference with greater speed. Comcast has been selling "faster than fiber" for years, and has finally given up (apparently) because up in double digits, it doesn't matter anymore. Notice that the bulk of Comcast's advertising is vs DSL these days.

And finally, regardless of whatever else I said up there, I would pay extra money just to not do business with Comcast. But as it happens, if you go by the *real*, non-introductory cost of a Comcast circuit, my fiber connection is competitive in price.

[1] I was a charter member of ATT Cable Modem, and did business with Comcast for a couple years after AT&T sold the business to them, and it's not for nothing that they're voted the worst customer service in the business. Pre-fiber, I dropped Comcast and took the performance hit to go to DSL just so I no longer had to deal with them.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 months ago | (#47224589)

Well, it's new jersey. I don't have any other explanation.

All the articles about the Verizon/Netflix war of words and low performance are not about New Jersey, they're nationwide.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47224773)

Well, it's new jersey. I don't have any other explanation.

All the articles about the Verizon/Netflix war of words and low performance are not about New Jersey, they're nationwide.

That's what the news has been saying, but it just hasn't been our experience. (Caveat: The name on the box notwithstanding, Verizon no longer owns our fiber connection, so I don't know how germane our experience is.)

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 months ago | (#47224915)

(Caveat: The name on the box notwithstanding, Verizon no longer owns our fiber connection,

That might have something to do with it....

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47224787)

You must be a fucking turd fro NJ...

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 2 months ago | (#47224367)

The free market has generally been fiber vs Comcast. The Comcast salescreature stops by my house about once a month trying to get me to change to them. Something to do with how many channels I'd get for a low low introductory price. I point out we haven't had cable TV, haven't for years, all we have is internet and phone, and we're thinking of dumping the land line. And he gets rude.

We too have FiOS from Frontier nee Verizon and have had several door to door salesmen from Comcast stop by. After I point out how my service is better in just about every way except for a few months for the promo package, they finally get the hint and realize they aren't making the sale. That doesn't stop Comcast and Comcast Business from sending me 2-3 mailings a week trying to get me subscribe.

portland should charge Google (2)

globaljustin (574257) | about 2 months ago | (#47224515)

Um, I live in downtown Portland, 14 blocks from the river on a main street

Portland is such a perfect test market, the city should charge Google just for the privalidge of using our fair city

that's just IMHO...

the idea that "fiber" is readily and cheaply available in Portland is incorrect...it's is *possible* but almost all residential users have ADSL through the phone line

none of us know how much fiber Google will lay and where...how much they will charge, how much data they will scrape...

overall, it's very good that Google is adding this infrastructure

Re:portland should charge Google (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47224547)

> almost all residential users have ADSL through the phone line

I believe that, but I'm wondering how many of those residents have DSL only because they can't imagine what they'd use broadband for. My mother still suffers with 1 Mb/s from ATT iVerse or whatever the heck it's called, and using the internet at her house is a miserable business. But although she'll pay a hundred bucks a month for Dish TV, she won't spring for broadband because she thinks she doesn't need it. I try to convince her, get broadband, get a roku, dump Dish, and save some money. But it's just not in her usage paradigm. TV by demand over the internet isn't "TV" to her. "TV" shows are on at a certain time and have commercials.

Shrug.

its all price (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 2 months ago | (#47225507)

I believe that, but I'm wondering how many of those residents have DSL only because they can't imagine what they'd use broadband for.

virtually *none* in Portland city proper...most don't have a "TV"

Most have ADSL and no TV cable...they watch over the air or via internet

I'm not talking suburbs...I'm talking inner Portland

*everyone* would get DSL or fiber **if they could afford it**

Re:its all price (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47225735)

> *everyone* would get DSL or fiber **if they could afford it**

I suppose, if the price is low enough. Or maybe not, if they couldn't see the value. It depends on one's value of "everyone", and "afford".

Re:portland should charge Google (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47225837)

This is really what throttling, Net Neutrality, and data caps are all about. People who've had net access since their teens* don't care about the old television service so much. They like the shows and will buy/watch them, but not the actual service. The traditional cable company model is going down the drain. Comcast and others are using their market positions to take anti-competitive actions against Netflix, who also distributes movies/television.

It's because of this that I think Net Neutrality is a temporary band aid. Ban it and Comcast will immediately introduce data caps. Ban data caps and Comcast might try to halt internet TV streaming entirely (by treating every streaming service equally and blocking them).

I think the most viable solution is vertical separation of industries. ISPs must be separate from the physical cable/wire/fiber owners. They'll also be separate from content produces (that whole NBC-Universal/Comcast merger was a terrible idea).

The U.S. sort of had a vertical separated ISP market in the 90s. The ISPs (AOL, MSN, CompuServer) were separate from their physical medium (telephone wires).

I suppose the physical cables can be classified as utilities while ISPs remain private entities. This also allows for private competition over municipal fiber. People could buy television and internet packages from these providers. Payment goes to the infrastructure company based on whatever rates (perhaps regulated prices).

This seems workable to my layman mind. I'm not sure why dial-up ISPs never lobbied for at least access to the emerging cable networks. AOL at least had the excuse that it merged with Time Warner and therefore no longer cared.

*My parents are in their 60s and have no problem with streaming television and whatnot. 'Course we had computers in our home for years before it was common and my father was always buying technological gadgets. They're also big on saving money and that's why they're dropping cable TV entirely after a future move.

Re:portland should charge Google (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47225901)

I agree on the separation of services. Back in the DSL days, you could buy DSL service from multiple providers, over the same copper wires. (And Speakeasy was consistently faster and more stable than Verizon.) I don't see why you shouldn't be able to buy from multiple ISPs over the same fiber. It's at most a matter of provisioning at the CO.

Well, except for the political machinations.

Re:portland should charge Google (2)

bennomatic (691188) | about 2 months ago | (#47225519)

I'm over in SE Portland, near Reed, and Verizon's fiber offering may be available on the west side, but it's certainly not available here.

Over here, CenturyLink's 20Mbps DSL offering isn't even available; speeds are 1-1.5 Mbps, tops, with their service. Doesn't stop them from sending me monthly invitations to switch to them and get up to 20Mbps. You'd think that they could integrate their mailer database and their service availability database and only send offers to people who (a) can take advantage of those offers and (b) haven't already told them to F off multiple times.
"Thankfully", there's Comcast. Honestly, Comcast's service is really, really great. It's fast and reliable, and on those rare occasions that I've had to call into their support team, the people on the other side of the call have been awesome. My only complaint about them is that, since they're effectively a monopoly, they are clearly charging WAY more than they could afford to charge and still be very profitable, and certainly well above what the rates would be if there were any real competition. Again, DSL just isn't a competition here.
I've heard that where Google Fiber exists, Comcast's broadband fees are something like half of what they charge here. I can't wait for Google Fiber to come in. I'd switch in a heartbeat, just out of principal.

Re:portland should charge Google (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 2 months ago | (#47225659)

I can't wait for Google Fiber to come in. I'd switch in a heartbeat, just out of principal.

practically unanimous across Stumptown I'd say...Centurylink's cheapest tier works fine for me but I don't do a lot of web work...will have to get bigger pipes eventually

i honestly don't care about Google, in the end...it's about infrastructure and competition

no matter what happens, Portland will have a decent *real* 21st century infrastructure which will allow our businesses to grow faster

also, b/c of competition like you said, it will lower our rates for everything and get others to invest in their own infrastructure

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47224663)

I have lived in Northwest Portland and currently live in SE and I can say you are the minority if you have fiber available to you... Most of the city does not and there is no competition if you don't have a fiber option. As well, the two fiber providers have said they will not put it in some parts of the city...

Competition it is not; glad you're good though. Just don't assume that it's like that for the rest of the folks in the city.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 2 months ago | (#47224667)

That's odd. I find the AT&T and Comcast sales people to be very polite. Perhaps it's because i'm in Texas. :-)

I'm really hoping for Google to come and provide competition. We are currently paying $120ish for good internet and cable-- or $90 for good internet and minimal cable-- or $95 for good internet and NO cable in my city.

I think it can be done cheaper at a profit. Comcast (CMCSA) has tripled since 2009 and on top of that they pay a dividend. They have several symbols tho (some recent). I need to find out what is up with that. (CMCSA, CCV, CCZ, and CMCSK).

Some of them have a 5% dividend currently.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47224797)

Eesh. $95 a month for internet? I'm paying $45 a month for fiber. Ok, you win; you really need competition.

> That's odd. I find the AT&T and Comcast sales people to be very polite. Perhaps it's because i'm in Texas. :-)

Don't misunderstand; I had no problems with the ATT cable modem people. It was a new technology at the time, with many tech hiccups, and ATT personnel behaved politely and competently in a stressful situation. But Comcast.. you're *lucky* if they ignore you, in a way, because then they're not being rude to you. Maybe it really is because you're in Texas.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

gfxguy (98788) | about 2 months ago | (#47225181)

I'm in GA. My choices are only AT&T and Comcast; No Verizon, and the competing cable company doesn't service my area. I pay about $80/month just for internet, no cable TV. Sadly, even if Google decides to come here, it'll both take forever and probably not reach out to the area I live in. Comcast is about 5 times faster than AT&T. I'd use AT&T anyway, but we use Netflix (which now runs great on Comcast for some strange reason), and my son is online gaming at every free moment (except right now... we're watching world cup).

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47226721)

I live in an area near New York City with both Comcast and Verizon present. The Blast plan, for $76/month (not the introductory price), they offer 105 Mbps down (can't find the upload). The Extreme plan is 150 Mbps for $115. Verizon offers 50/25 ($80/month), 75/35 ($90/month), 150/65 ($130/month), 300/65 ($209/month), 500/100 ($300/month).

In Seattle, a place I'm considering moving, their Blast plan is 50 Mbps (10 Mbps up, I believe). The Extreme plan is $115 for 105 Mbps.

Now either Comcast is slow to roll out network improvements or the competition from Verizon forced to offer somewhat faster speeds. Verizon could drop prices, but they don't seem interested. Having found out Verizon Wireless's MVNO policies, I can only imagine the company is run by the most greedy bastards in the history of the world. They've got good network infrastructure (both wireless and fiber), but their pricing policies are higher to say the least.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 2 months ago | (#47225285)

You can get "bad" internet for under $30. It's faster than ISDN used to be.
And it's not from Comcast.

Arguing with salespeople. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47224681)

Um, I live in the Portland metropolitan area, and I already have fiber to the house. Have had for years. From a telco. At least two telcos in this area have been offering fiber for some time. And let me tell you, as an alternate to Comcast, it is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

The free market has generally been fiber vs Comcast. The Comcast salescreature stops by my house about once a month trying to get me to change to them. Something to do with how many channels I'd get for a low low introductory price. I point out we haven't had cable TV, haven't for years, all we have is internet and phone, and we're thinking of dumping the land line. And he gets rude. Once he yelled at my wife. I called the office and complained. Of course, nothing came of it.

Let's assume Google for some reason lays fiber right next to what I'm using and offers the same speed at the same price. I'd be inclined to stick with what I have. Google makes their money off data mining and advertising. I'd feel uncomfortable having them as my internet provider.

So, rail against the free market if you must, but as far as I'm concerned,,, yeah, I'm good.

I point out we haven't had cable TV, haven't for years, all we have is internet and phone, and we're thinking of dumping the land line. And he gets rude. Once he yelled at my wife. I called the office and complained. Of course, nothing came of it.

Never waste your time arguing with salespeople. For one, they are not people - commissions turn people into lizzards; you know, see eggs hatching and start chowing down even though it's their hatchlings.

Secondly, you will not change their mind. I had some window company that braged about being on some makeover show and said that "they're doing a house down the street" - complete lie. No one in my neighborhood used them - ever. It was just a cheap sales trick.

Afer saying no and having him ignore me, I decided to fuck with him.

I kept asking questions, and being all wishy washy. And when he mentioned about "tax rebates", I told him that I don't take tax advice from salespeople. he ignored it and kept on with the cheap sales talk.

He was getting more and more excited. He asked when could we schedule for a quote.

I said, just come by whenever and leave it on the door.

Nope, can't do that. Their game plan is to get another saleslizzard out to get a quote and really work on you. I thought about fucking with him too, but a LOT of these contractor assholes CHARGE for quotes; which is complete bullshit. If you have to charge for a quote then you have no business being in business.

Anyway, he cranked up the sales talke and finally I had enough and I just said - mocking his cheap sales lizzard tone and pointing like he did, "I'm not interested!"

i thought he was going to cry.

Comcast - I pretty much yell at them for being lying cheating scum fuckers and if I could, I'd shoot them - like the old guys on "Secondhand Lions" - great movie!

tl;dr: sales people are lying scum. Comcast is evil.

Re:Arguing with salespeople. (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47224809)

> tl;dr: sales people are lying scum. Comcast is evil.

Important distinction.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

James in PDX (1233094) | about 2 months ago | (#47224987)

Post some numbers. In the cities that Google fiber is located it is $70 (some with taxes and such added to that) for 1Gbps up and down. What are you paying for your fiber now and what speeds are you getting? From what I can find neither Century Link nor Frontier/Verizon offer close to that speed. Even at the speeds they say they offer per Mbps they are more.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 2 months ago | (#47225307)

So, rail against the free market if you must, but as far as I'm concerned,,, yeah, I'm good.

Hooray for you. Setting aside, for now, the ridiculously loose definitions of "fiber" being used by the LEC's, your experience is unlike that of the vast majority of ISP customers in the U.S. And if you think that your ISP isn't mining the data that your activity is generating for all it's worth, you are not paying attention.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 2 months ago | (#47226457)

I'm in Portland, and shopping for FTTH. Who's your provider? What neighborhood are you in?

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (3, Insightful)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 2 months ago | (#47224323)

The line "incumbent Telco's are fuming" means this is probably a very good thing for consumers. That's the litmus test. if something bothers the existing market makers/leaders, it's almost definitely in the consumer's best interest :(

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

bennomatic (691188) | about 2 months ago | (#47225535)

The line "incumbent Telco's are fuming" means this is probably a very good thing for consumers. That's the litmus test. if something bothers the existing market makers/leaders, it's almost definitely in the consumer's best interest :(

QFT.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (0)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 months ago | (#47224499)

You were forced by legislation to provide connectivity to many places where it was unprofitable, so you lose to cherry pickers like Google. Now STFU.

FTFY.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 2 months ago | (#47224585)

What legislation forced the ISPs to connect to the unprofitable areas, without compensation that was vastly more than the cost. Shoot I would just like to know the legislation that forced this at all....

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 months ago | (#47224701)

What legislation forced the ISPs to connect to the unprofitable areas, without compensation that was vastly more than the cost. Shoot I would just like to know the legislation that forced this at all....

Ah but the assertion was not about ISPs at all, was it? Try reading.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

thaylin (555395) | about 2 months ago | (#47225855)

Seeing how we are talking about ISPs. He said the word telco, but in this instance it was obvious that he meant ISP, since that is what this entire thing is talking about....

two parts to the access (2)

swschrad (312009) | about 2 months ago | (#47225485)

there is a link to get your data out of the house. and then there is an ISP at the other end of the link to get your data on and off the internet.

links don't care about physical media. you can use fiber, twisted pair, coax, wifi, top two wires of a fence, whatever. some are better than others in a specific physical area.

some ISPs are crap, and some are not, also. if they can handle the bandwidth, don't treat you like a captive, and have support inside and out 24x7, ISPs can be interchangeable. but usually if you take one company's link, you get their ISP. the days of sharing the back office side of the dslams are pretty much gone to any ISP who wants to drop a T1 or T3 to the connection point.

at this point, fiber is the goal. PON is the usual method. but it's still costly as sin to run it out to you, so it's limited area access where it's cheapest and has the best chance of adoption, like to new developments with McMansions.

Joe Blow in a 60-year-old neighborhood, forget it. sorry. but I can't get PON either, and I work for a provider. story of my life.

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47224725)

I'm sorry but the telco industry is far from being a 'free market'.

Love how turds blame everything on capitalism and free markets.

Just wait fool, the gubbermint will save ya!

Re:Here's yer free market, telco's (1)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 2 months ago | (#47226561)

I deeply suspect you're trolling....

I predict many grassroot campaigns objecting! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47224057)

I predict many grassroot campaigns objecting - all of them totally legitimate!

Good for Business! (1)

JoeDaddyZZZ (3543989) | about 2 months ago | (#47224065)

Hope this helps them bring in business. That would make it harder for less equipped municipalities to compete. And force them to improve their connections.

Re:Good for Business! (0)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 2 months ago | (#47224291)

It's going to take a lot more than a fiber service to help Portland bring in business.

The first step is to fire all the meddling council members that have their own pet agendas and screw any business that wants to locate in the city. See: Columbia Sportswear moving their headquarters from inside Portland to the suburbs after the City jerked them around over a piece of property they wanted to buy right on the river. See: exactly zero Fortune-500 companies headquartered in the City (Nike doesn't count - they're in unincorporated Washington County).

Randy Leonard and Sam Adams being shown the door is a good start - toss the rest of them out, and start being less business-surly (note, you don't have to go all the way to friendly, just stop screwing everyone in every way possible).

Re:Good for Business! (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 2 months ago | (#47224543)

What obstacles were put in front of them? I see lots of people saying that, but no one ever states what those obstacles were. Some obstacles are good, some are bad, so just from that statement we cannot know anything about your statement.

Re:Good for Business! (0)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 2 months ago | (#47224713)

Here's a recap of the Columbia situation: http://blog.oregonlive.com/por... [oregonlive.com]

There was a more exhaustive article in Willamette Week a few years back, but their website search sucks.

Re:Good for Business! (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 2 months ago | (#47225875)

The article only says they were outbid and then wanted to buy what was planed to be a site for a light rail. That does not seem like the city throwing up obstacles, it seems like a company wanting preferential treatment.

Re:Good for Business! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47224853)

Just your standard hippie/environmentalist/NIMBY/political-bribe/homeowners-lobby bullshit. The same shit that keeps San Francisco from building much-needed new housing.

Re:Good for Business! (2)

Earthquake Retrofit (1372207) | about 2 months ago | (#47224841)

See: exactly zero Fortune-500 companies headquartered in the City

You say this like it's a bad thing.

Steve

Re:Good for Business! (2)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 2 months ago | (#47226571)

I'm in Portland, and my small business is growing. There has been no red tape that I've noticed. There has been a few small fees for registering, some basic common sense rules... What in specific are you complaining about? I realize that my small business is mostly under the radar, and perhaps you're talking about a mid sized or large business.... But this is the city where everyone's uncle starts a food cart. It's not hard to start a business here.

Please provide specifics.

Lay dark fiber (3, Interesting)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 2 months ago | (#47224073)

If you want Google fiber in your town, you need to convince your city to lay its own dark fiber as much as possible. Google has thus far went to the cities with the most existing dark fiber already in place.

Re:Lay dark fiber (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47224305)

What about those with Verizon FIOS?

Can Google use that fiber? Or is it strictly owned by Verizon?

Re:Lay dark fiber (2)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 2 months ago | (#47224789)

No, it has to be available for lease or purchase. FIOS cities and municipal fiber cities like Chattanooga don't count.

Re:Lay dark fiber (2)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 months ago | (#47224321)

Salt Lake City (the city, not the metro area) has almost no dark fiber (the only reason I saw almost and not none is I can't be sure there's no link between the jail and the city building) installed and was chosen. Almost every mile of fiber that is government owned in the entire county is owned by UDOT and is used for traffic management and absolutely not leased, sold or used by anyone else with the small exception that they've allowed several of the cities to hook into the network to gain control over the traffic systems within that city.

Re:Lay dark fiber (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 2 months ago | (#47224803)

Here's a map [zayo.com] .

Re:Lay dark fiber (2)

Enigma2175 (179646) | about 2 months ago | (#47226373)

Salt Lake CIty has some other things going for it, like being right next to Utopia [utopianet.org] cities and being close to Google Fiber's existing network in Provo. Google already interconnects with Utopia so it would probably not require as much infrastructure for Google to deploy in Salt Lake as it would in other cities.

Re:Lay dark fiber (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47225937)

Not really, but maybe, they are installing new fiber where I live, small town that the council said, why not let them in, neighborhoods of less then a thousand families, in single houses, so most expensive area to lay it out, needing 33 families to sign to get fiber to their homes, offering the free wireless, if you cannot afford it for 5 or so years, dosen't hurt the resale value of the neighborhood. And they are starting service next month. Reseeded the lawns they messed by their boxes, watered it and mommy nature helped with some rain. More next month after the service starts. But TWRR is the only service thats fast, ATT is here, so you can probably see where I'm coming from.

Two things to note... (2)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 2 months ago | (#47224077)

1. The "Fiberhoods" are really key here. Google's getting official authorization to deploy only in neighborhoods where it makes economic sense, and not being required to build out through the whole city.
2. It's by no means certain that Google will deploy at all: "This franchise agreement is an important step along the path to Fiber, so it’s great that it’s been approved. There’s still a lot of work to do beyond this one agreement, but we hope to provide an update about whether we can bring Fiber here later this year,” said Google spokeswoman Jenna Wandres in an email.

Re:Two things to note... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47224329)

Who cares?

If you can't pay for fiber, you don't get it. This isn't a matter of having internet vs not having internet, its a matter of having really fast internet vs regular broadband. If fiber is that important to you, move to an area with fiber.

Re:Two things to note... (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 months ago | (#47224835)

This is one of the big lies the incumbents have been telling. Google has made no installation decisions based on economic return or economic capability. The fiberhood voting process includes the free internet service which likely costs Google money to provide and doesn't provide favorability ratings for those willing to pay for gigabit over the free version. The only requirement is that people sign up for the service (and it can be the free service they intend to sign up for).

The incumbents call this cherry picking because in their world they would do an economic analysis that ensures the households would subscribe to numerous pricy packages. This analysis would favor higher income areas by default and likely write off large numbers of poor people. Google is doing nothing at all like this, many of the qualified fiberhood's in KC were in fact low income and had requested the free internet.

Stop repeating incumbent propaganda.

Re:Two things to note... (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 2 months ago | (#47225149)

This is one of the big lies the incumbents have been telling. Google has made no installation decisions based on economic return or economic capability. ... The only requirement is that people sign up for the service (and it can be the free service they intend to sign up for.

1. FYI, the free service requires a $300 installation payment (or $25/month for a year), so it's not truly free. Those free customers will offset nearly half of the cost of passing them with the fiber.
2. They certainly ARE making the prioritization decisions based (at least in part) on economic return. The neighborhoods with higher committed take rates (whether for a monthly service or the upfront $300 only) are getting service, while those with low committed take rates aren't getting service (because the economic return is lower). Also, Google has been very open that they're only looking to deploy fiber in markets where the cost per home served (combination of take rate and cost per home passed) is low enough to make economic sense, and where the city government is willing to work with them. You'll notice none of the cities they've talked about deploying to are in the Northeast (weather, higher labor cost, both raise deployment costs).
3. Also, if you look at the franchise agreement being discussed for Portland, it doesn't include the requirement (which is pretty much standard in cable franchises) that the franchisee serve 100%, or close to 100%, of homes in the municipality by X years after deployment starts. Google has made it very clear that, if they face that kind of franchise requirement, they'll move on to another market.

Re:Two things to note... (1)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 2 months ago | (#47225187)

. Also, if you look at the franchise agreement being discussed for Portland, it doesn't include the requirement (which is pretty much standard in cable franchises) that the franchisee serve 100%, or close to 100%, of homes in the municipality by X years after deployment starts. Google has made it very clear that, if they face that kind of franchise requirement, they'll move on to another market.

One additional note - looking at the doc, this ISN'T a cable franchise - Google won't be offering cable TV service (as they do in Kansas City). As a result, they avoid the buildout requirements that would come with a cable franchise agreement.

Re:Two things to note... (2)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 months ago | (#47225603)

1. The $300 installation fee, as you noted available to be paid in 1 year of monthly $25 payments doesn't even cover 10% of the cost of the ONT let alone the cost to install. And that $25 fee (and it's only for a year then free afterwards) is cheaper than every other incumbents cheapest plan and they only pay for 12months and Google commits to 5 years of free service, an amortized fee that's less than $5 a month!

2. They are NOT making prioritization decisions on economic return, they are making them on subscriber numbers. It's a false dichotomy to claim those are the same thing and that's the stupid word games the incumbents are playing. Economics has nothing at all to do with a decision to install. The install decision is based on the uptake number, where included in the uptake calculation is a plan they will lose big money on. It's an outright lie to argue this is economic based either for them or the subscribers.

Google has made no claims whatsoever that economics play into this at ALL. You are outright lying when you claim they have. The installation is decided solely on number of subscribers in a given area as I've noted already and has nothing at all to do with the actual economics of service because if it did include that requirement, they wouldn't include the $300 option when assessing deployment. The very existence of fiber-hoods where residents only committed to purchasing the free plan puts a lie to any claim otherwise. More than half the fiber-hoods in KC were qualified with more than 50% of the residents only committing to the free plan. AFAIK there wasn't a SINGLE neighborhood that was qualified for build where more than 75% of those that committed selected the pay plan.

Stop lying.

Oblig (5, Funny)

ovidus naso (20325) | about 2 months ago | (#47224129)

Keep Portland Wired

Come to the West side. (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 2 months ago | (#47224157)

Portland is full of malcontents.

Come to the West side (Washington County). We're all techy and techy corps own the politicians.

In Progress (1)

StefanJ (88986) | about 2 months ago | (#47224645)

From what I've read, Tigard, Beaverton, and Hillsboro are all in consideration. Not every neighborhood in every town. My house is not far from Ronler Acres (massive Intel plant) and across the street from an office park, so hopefully I'll be in luck.

I'd love to have another alternative to Comcast.

Re:In Progress (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 2 months ago | (#47224805)

>My house is not far from Ronler Acres (massive Intel plant) and across the street from an office park,
Er. Me too.

>I'd love to have another alternative to Comcast.
Frontier Fios doesn't go there?

Re: In Progress (1)

Praeluceo (528253) | about 2 months ago | (#47225061)

Yeah, I live very close to RA and we have Frontier FiOS. $105/month for symmetrical 35 Mb/s business class fiber with a static IP. We've never had any issues with speed or Frontier (or Verizon FiOS before them). It makes me feel for everyone stuck on Comcast or dial-up, but 3 of our last 4 residences in the Portland metro area all had fiber, so I'm not sure where in Portland people are living that doesn't have fiber. Did Verizon only run it to the suburbs and skip downtown?

Re: In Progress (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 2 months ago | (#47225333)

Certain local governments did a deal with the devil, agreeing to let Verizon skip their common carrier requirements in return for which Verizon would install FTTH. So Verizon could cut the local ISPs out of the loop.

On DSL I paid the phone company for moving the bits (frame relay style) to the ISP and the mom-and-pop ISP for doing what ISP do. The ISP (dsl-only) was excellent in many ways.

This arrangement would have remained except Verizon wriggled out of it, so they can pull the crap they pull today, holding their customers hostage behind a content filter.

I don't understand why Verizon sold the area off to Frontier.

Re: In Progress (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 2 months ago | (#47225345)

I've had no issues except for the DNS which for which the donkey balls are well sucked.
8.8.8.8, 8.8.4.4 and you're golden

In Progress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47225817)

Lake Oswego as well, and the town has already submitted their planned location for their 'fiber huts' to Google. I'd be surprised if Google didn't wire up most of the town, due to its relative wealth and proximity to downtown.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47224199)

"The current ISPs in the area of Portland are suing the city for damage in the upwards of 60 million dollar, each. This come hours after the news of the city agreeing unanimously to accept more competition in their city, this is due in part to old deals the telecommunication giants had with the city, which prevented them from accepting said competition."

I'm just waiting to see that kind of news.

Fiber is good for you. (1)

PDX (412820) | about 2 months ago | (#47224201)

Can a city decide to advance at its own pace or is it slowed down by the slowest and weakest points in it's network?
I wouldn't mind seeing competition in this city as long as the old stuff such as buffer bloat and privacy violations are taken care of at the same time. The Peering proposed by Bob Cringely is the right solution. http://www.cringely.com/2014/05/06/14890/ [cringely.com]

Property Values? (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about 2 months ago | (#47224203)

Have there been any studies on the impact of Google Fiber on property values? There were articles conjecturing [sarahsnodgrass.com] in 2012 that property values would go up, but I don't know if there was any follow-up to see if it happened.

Re:Property Values? (4, Funny)

swb (14022) | about 2 months ago | (#47224907)

That reminds me of my house hunting back in 1998 when I'd have my wife distract the real estate agent while I made a surreptitious call to our apartment so I could capture the house's phone number on caller id and check online to see if they had DSL available there.

Re:Property Values? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47226655)

That reminds me of my house hunting back in 1998 when I'd have my wife distract the real estate agent while I made a surreptitious call to our apartment so I could capture the house's phone number on caller id and check online to see if they had DSL available there.

Or, you could have just called the phone company, given them the address, and they would have told you if DSL was available.

Re:Property Values? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227241)

That's a funny one. CenturyLink in Seattle will tell you everyone one with a POTS line can get DSL, but that is a lie. My connection is usually 896 kbps, but I'm lucky because many people on my street still can't get DSL. Over fifty year-old phone wiring plus city rules that don't allow replacement cabling has left many us with no options for Internet access other than wireless and dial-up.

wait wait wait (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47224251)

It's important to note, Qwest and Verizon (later Frontier) have been offering fiber to the house for years in the Portland metropolitan area. My understanding is that the lack of rapid growth of the network(s) is not a matter of the telcos not wanting to expand, but a matter of the local municipalities making expansion too difficult. Perhaps Google has discovered, not new ways to provide fiber to the home, but new ways to grease the political wheels.

Re:wait wait wait (1)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | about 2 months ago | (#47224409)

While true, Verizon doesn't come to all neighborhoods - and there's no way I'm doing business with Comcast.

Re:wait wait wait (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47224521)

While true, Verizon doesn't come to all neighborhoods - and there's no way I'm doing business with Comcast.

I heartily support that.

Re:wait wait wait (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 2 months ago | (#47226661)

While true, Verizon doesn't come to all neighborhoods - and there's no way I'm doing business with Comcast.

So, if only Comcast were available (as it is to many people in certain areas), would you use dial-up instead?

Re:wait wait wait (1)

MisterToad (2685611) | about 2 months ago | (#47226235)

In solving mysteries, always watch where the money flows

Re:wait wait wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47227189)

Yes but pretty large sections of Portland have Comcast as the only real high speed option. (Low speed DSL, WiMAX and satellite are around but much much slower.) I have never in many years in pdx lived at an address where I could get fiber. FIOS and company have no idea my end of town exists. If this is a deal to just expand where folks always have choices (silicon forrest I'm looking at you.) Then this isn't news as those parts of town have two or more decent choices already. If it means some completion for Comcast where they have a defacto monopoly then this is great news.

Re:wait wait wait (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 months ago | (#47227513)

Ok, good point. And you're right, anything that gives people an alternate to Comcast is a Very Good Thing.

COME TO SEATTLE PLEASE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47224331)

COME TO SEATTLE PLEASE

Re:COME TO SEATTLE PLEASE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47224625)

Screw Seattle. They won't be able to afford anything soon. Come to San Diego!

Re:COME TO SEATTLE PLEASE (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 2 months ago | (#47225079)

When you fix it so people can drive North without Seattle getting in the way.

Re:COME TO SEATTLE PLEASE (1)

freeze128 (544774) | about 2 months ago | (#47225409)

Seattle is the home of David Lightman, that kid in the 80's who almost started world war 3. No way, man! I don't want that guy hacking into my stuff.

There's the rub (3)

nairnr (314138) | about 2 months ago | (#47224527)

You certainly can't complain about competition if you are unwilling to invest yourself. IF they were getting a special arrangement then the existing ISPs might have something to complain about, but they don't. Just because you are an existing player doesn't mean you get state sponsored protection...

Re:There's the rub (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 2 months ago | (#47226667)

Just because you are an existing player doesn't mean you get state sponsored protection...

It does if you have enough money to spend on lobbying and brib^H^H^H^H campaign contributions.

urbanization (2)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 months ago | (#47224669)

Now that > 50% of the population lives in cities, the other 49% are learning just how awesome democracy is.

Re:urbanization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47224757)

Democracy sucks, it's a sugar coated word for mob rule.

Re:urbanization (2)

thaylin (555395) | about 2 months ago | (#47225977)

Good thing we dont live in that type of democracy...

Gopher? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47225365)

Gopher fiber? I would think they had very little fiber.

Goo goo (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 months ago | (#47225711)

"pointed out that Google is prepared to make a major investment in the city's infrastructure, while the other firms are not"

Correction: "While the other firms had absolutely no intention to until Google came along."

UTOPIA Fiber (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47225825)

I am fortunate (or unfortunate) to live in one of those small towns in Utah that signed up for UTOPIA municipal fiber. It was a long journey with Comcrap and Centurylink + lobbyists pulling all the gimmicks to prevent its rollout. UTOPIA has had its share of political problems, but those aside. I get to choose my ISP, I chose XMission a SLC based company. And for $35/month I get 100mbps up & down. So right now I'm not complaining.

CenturyLink (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47226589)

I currently pay $70 here in Portland Oregon for CenturyLink and get 12MBPS down / 5MBPS upload. I would love to switch to Google Fiber, paying the same and getting 1GBPS....

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