General Mar 5, 2014 at 4:00 am

Portland Might Get Google Fiber! Here's Everything You Need to Know.


Curious that CenturyLink said they can do 100 Mbit over copper. I've lived five different places since I first got DSL from them (aka Qwest aka US West) in 1999, and every place the maximum speed they could give me was 1.5Mbps -- even the place I moved to last year just east of Mt. Tabor. I switched to Stephouse Wireless last year and now I get 10 Mbit over a small dish pointed at Rocky Butte. I like that Google could be coming to knock off Comcast, but what will that mean for the small ISPs like Stephouse?
One thing I hadn't noticed much in the discussion is the lack of nearby competitor Frontier (a.k.a. Verizon FiOS) since they're mostly only known west of HWY 217. There's a reason they're not allowed to play within Portland as a competitive option. Those copper lines discussed have ownership rights held by Comcast and they get the say on who gets to use those rights. This is one reason why Comcast doesn't need to spend a dime on improving their infrastructure and can raise prices if they wish as they created a monopolistically competitive market with the ability to indefinitely keep out most potential competitors. Skirting around these rights is the only way to get into the market, so no wonder they responded the way they did. Former roommate and friend worked for Verizon for years, digging ditches for them and some other roles; that's the information he would talk about with me as he moved around in the company.
@Arem, it isn't Comcast's copper wires that Frontier isn't allowed to use, its CenturyLink's. It goes back to the days of traditional telephone exchanges. You only had one residential telephone company accessing an exchange. Hence, you won't find Frontier (formerly Verizon) anywhere you find CenturyLink, and vice versa, because they run different exchanges.

That's regarding their telephone and DSL lines. Frontier FIOS is a different matter completely, and has nothing to do with access to Comcast or CenturyLink's lines. Frontier was supposed to maintain and expand their FIOS when they took over Verizon, but they really haven't done much of either.
Folks who want Google Fiber need to let the company know that they're interested. Here's what the Portland Office For Community Technolgy told me in a recent email:
'I understand it will also be important for the community to show they are interested.
To demonstrate interest in Google Fiber for Portland, go to: to see if Google Fiber is available for your address, then sign up for updates. Google uses this information to determine the level of interest for a city/area.

* Click on the "Check Address" button at the top right of the window.
* Enter your street address and select "Go". This will take you to a new page:
* Enter your email address to get updates.
* Check the "Send updates about service availability for this area" box
* Click on the "Get Updates" button. It will say "Service isn't currently available here," but this demonstrates your interest.'
Where does this beleif that faster internet will cure all our economic problems come from? I remain unconvinced. How exactly does that work? Geez, I can download stuff faster. So? How does that translate to more jobs exactly?

My impression of the internet has been that is sucks jobs OUT OF the local economy because people do their window shopping locally and then go buy from Amazon because it is cheaper.

Also, don't forget many people access the internet over their phones now. Google fiber will have no effect on this.
Ed, this farticle did a poor job of explaining why Google Fiber could be a game changer. It's not faster speed neccesarily. It's net neutrality. The FCC recently ruled they wont stop cable companies from treating the internet like its a menu and selling "access" to certain sites only if the sites and the customers pay them more than other sites and customers. While they may try to do that even if there is competition the presence of a non colluding competitor in the game (and Google will not need to participate in collusion with the cable companies because they will have their own network) will discourage comcast from this model. It's not neccesarily the speed its the ability to have choice that we are hoping for.

Please wait...

and remember to be decent to everyone
all of the time.

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