Google Fiber May be Coming to Portland

Google Fiber is up to 100 times faster than today’s average broadband service. With connection speeds of up to 1,000Mbps, everything you could possibly want online is available to you instantaneously with Google in control. There is no buffering, everything is presented in crystal clear high-definition, and it’s cheap. In other words: It’s the perfect Internet solution.

Unfortunately, Google Fiber is only available in two U.S. cities: Kansas City and Provo. But even if you live in one of these cities, you need to reside in a qualified “fiberhood” that meets Google’s standards in order to be eligible for service. Consumers that are interested in purchasing a Google Fiber plan are encouraged to not only register during a limited sign-up period in their fiberhood, but to spread the word to their neighbors so they can meet sign-up goals. It’s a stringent process, but one that many people are willing to do if it means they can have a near-1Gbps Internet connection.

Last week, Portland’s city council approved a franchise agreement with Google that will bring the high-speed fiber lines to their city. Portland is one of just 34 cities that Google has been considering expanding their services to, but it’s unclear when this will happen. Google has been promising the city of Austin they will receive their services for over a year, but hasn’t even begun their sign-up process yet. While Portland is definitely one step closer to Google Fiber, they may have to wait a while to get it.

So, what’s taking so long to spread Google Fiber to the masses and why is it only available in two cities? Google’s response to this question is simple: It’s not that easy.

We hope to bring Google Fiber to every city on this list, but there are a few circumstances that might make it tough and even impossible to build our Fiber network in a city. The city’s checklist is the most important step towards making their community ready for the fiber-optic networks of the future. If a city doesn’t want to proceed with us and chooses not to complete their checklist, we won’t be able to bring them Google Fiber. There are also some physical characteristics of a city that might make it really complex for us to build Google Fiber. For example, underground construction might be really difficult due to bedrock or unusually hard soil. In these situations, we would share what we learned in our studies with city leaders and we hope they’d be able to use that information to explore other options for bringing super high speed broadband to their residents.

– Google

As more of our life becomes entangled in the World Wide Web, Internet speeds have never been so important. Activities, like streaming movies, storing files online, and video chatting, are using broadband technologies that are over a decade old. It’s clear that the next version of the web will require faster speeds, and if Internet companies like Facebook are claiming that high-speed connections are a human right and not a privilege, shouldn’t everyone have access to the best available service?

Consumer demand for Google Fiber is definitely there. But if only 34 cities in 9 metropolitan areas are able to have access, you may have to move if you want to experience the web at its full potential. A faster web means we have more potential to make the world a more connected place, but if consumers are left in the dark, we may never have that chance.

Are you content with your current Internet Service Provider, or do you want Google Fiber? Why or why not?


Join the discussion 61 Comments

  • Theo says:

    As a Portland resident, I can tell you that our town is in dire need. Comcast has had a stranglehold on this town for far too long, bringing true high-speed broadband here will increase the quality of life for thousands of residents.

    • Matt says:

      Portland resident here, too.

      We’re not suffering or dying in the streets. There’s plenty of other things that could be done to increase “the quality of life for thousands of residents” beside installing fiber. Besides, CenturyLink is already offering 1gbps in parts of downtown and SE.

      I hope we get it for a lot of other reasons (like continuing to grow our tech startup community), but things are far from dire.

    • jess says:

      Fiber service is terrible, first you’ll need a battery unit installed that will cost you 50 bucks a year to replace batteries and that is not covered in your google service contract, many printers and other devices are not compatible with fiber service and their is no speed improvement over cable. Tho the speed to your home may be faster , once it arrives at your home the signal which is light, is converted to power and delivered across the same kind of wire cable that you have with Comcast to your devices at the same speed capability you have now. With fiber, also you will have to manually reset the installed service box on the outside of your home every time you have a power outage to restore services, that is if the power outage doesn’t brake the service box entirely in which case you’ll be waiting a week for them to replace it which happens to 9 of 10 of these contraptions in every area they are currently installed in. Unless fiber is your only option for high speed internet stay away from this unstable, largely nonworking crap net and use cable it is much more reliable.

      • Wilmotron says:

        “Many printers and other devices are not compatible with fiber service.”

        This alone tells me you’ve got absolutely no idea what fiber even is.

        • bencatanzaro says:

          maybe the printers are “braken”

        • Joe Bob the puter expert says:

          Hello my name is Jess and I work for Comcast! Also I don’t know any except Comcast is the bestest for my puter.

        • Chris says:

          not only that but….”9 of 10 of these contraptions in every area they are currently installed in…..” If memory serves me correctly (as I just read it above) there are only 2 “areas” that currently have this service so what are you even talking about????

        • Nick says:

          Ill have to agree. You slso CANNOT use the same end connection at home. The units (modems) cable providers install cannot convert pulses of light. You get a different termination system. However once it hits your new “modem” it should allow connection on anything just like you got now.

      • So, who is paying you to spew nonsense? Half of those words shouldn’t be in the same paragraph.

      • Older technologies are more reliable at first yes, but you are claiming the cables in your local network is what is limiting you throughput not the cable internet, its the other way around. Cat5e and gigabitethernet routers and nics have the same 1gbs that google fiber is claiming.

      • kevin says:

        Please explain how or why a printer would know or care that you have a fiber interwebs connection?? *please no comment on interwebs (could have also use internets) I’m in I.T. so, by rule, we are not allowed to say internet.

      • DudeGuy says:

        HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA your printer connection never leaves your house GURL! So this is totally FALSE and INACCURATE information. Ignore JESS besides to berate her for spreading misinformation while attempting to appear informed.
        Anything that breeds competition for ISPs in an agreed upon stalement between Comcast and TimeWarner is good. They have monopolies all over the USA and use their exclusive holds in these cities to reap huge profits. So called “upgrades to service” are usually just keeping up infrastructure in place as cheaply as possible.
        The few cities they are upgrading speed for (very few) are barely 30% increase in speeds. They get grandfathered in if you already have it but expect to pay more, eventually.

      • first you’ll need a battery unit installed…Funny, my Verizon FiOS doesn’t need a battery replaced.

        many printers and other devices are not compatible with fiber service…You just qualified yourself as an idiot, and I should stop reading your post, but I’ll continue

        Tho the speed to your home may be faster , once it arrives at your home the signal which is light, is converted to power …..I see what you’re trying to say, but I used to get 15 down with TW, and now I get 60-75 down on FiOS.

        With fiber, also you will have to manually reset the installed…..In the three years I’ve had FiOS, I suffered a five minute outage. ONCE. Power outages were nothing and my service turned back on instantly without issue.

        Unless fiber is your only option for high speed internet stay away from this unstable, largely nonworking crap….I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you work for a cable company in a (I hope) non-technical field. Competition is good for the consumer, end of story.

      • meadot01 says:

        Also – unless you have bought your fridge in the past year it is probably incompatible with google fiber.

      • timmy says:

        Lmao who taught this guy anything. …I never had problems with printers and ive never had to go outside to reset anything…what just a idiot…..must work for Comcast…Fiber always better idiot

      • James Walker says:

        Let me guess, it will clog my pipelines so I can’t get any water as well.

      • Justin says:

        Probably one of the most MIS-INFORMED comments I have read in a while. If I didnt work with Fiber Optic network connections every day at work….

        Did you know light travels faster than electricity? Cable lines have resistance, Fiber optics have practically none? What does your local copper wires have to do with the speed of your WAN? Cable internet is what, max of 100MB/S your LAN is GB/S and the fiber optics, up to GB/s.

        I cant say you have much knowledge of what you are talking about. The long range is still fiber, decreasing the amount of time each hop takes… Ill take fiber, you keep your Comcast with its MAX download of 200GB / mo.

      • You realize that the main reason Google Fiber isn’t in more places is the difficulty to install NEW cables. So that they DON’T run on the old slow cables.

      • HaHA says:

        I want some of your drugs

    • Monopoloies and douopolies like Comcast hold deals with local and national governments to keep the FIBER ALREADY INSTALLED in hundreds of cities unused for better internet and phone deals and new technology, certain government employees in DC have had 100meg speeds since 2006 because of this. This is called fascism, welcome to the USA. Get used to it.

      • DudeGuy says:

        The only deals they have with local governments they make when bringing a new facility to a new city. They essentially bully local gov’t into giving them huge tax breaks if they make new jobs in their city.

        Unfortunately Comcast has the worst customer service coupled with one of the highest employee turnover rates throughout their company. Any jobs they do bring will likely bring more misery than joy to the people that work for them.

        If it was my city I would ban Comcast and TimeWarner even if it meant slower internet. I would personally give Google any incentive to come into my city as well and once they are established I would lift the ban on Comcast and TimeWarner. Let them fight over customers in a FAIR marketplace with reasonable competition.

    • Matt J says:

      How could true high speed increase anyone’s quality of life? I have Comcast, as much as I hate them, I get enough speed to do normal things on the Internet which in no way impact my quality of life.

  • Mike says:

    Hey Google, you could just buy Detroit…

  • Buck says:

    I want google fiber. Did you contact my city?

  • Ted Brown says:

    ya, we will never see it… Little ol’ Deer Park, WA and surrounding rural area’s (read farmers) will always be left behind… albeit, if it ever did come through, I would get it in a heart beat.

  • Brian Bosak says:

    Minnesota here — don’t think it will ever be here. Most residents of Minnesota don’t even know what fiber-optic means. Most people think it has to do with health foods…..

    • Jonathan Bentley says:

      I live right between Atlanta and Charlotte… They are planning on putting it all around me, but not make it accessible for me :'(

  • Jeff says:

    Great idea, while I dont agree with some of Google’s “doings” I definitely feel that the cable companies need the dose of reality and the competition. Like Theo said, they have a stranglehold on the market and continue to raise prices while not caring about their customers. Charter can kiss my ass if Google fiber comes to central Wis.

  • Justin says:

    Here in Cabot AR I can’t even get anything over 30mb/s unless I own a business. I could use the upgrade!!!

  • Wyoming Liberty Geek says:

    Sadly, I wouldn’t be able to make the leap to Google Fiber, even if they came to my town and offered completely free services. Eric Schmidt and the NSA have it impossible for me to go anywhere near Google Fiber. When an already user privacy-hostile Schmidt and the NSA went to court to successfully fight to keep the nature of their working relationship secret, I knew then I couldn’t trust my Internet communications needs to them further than I could string a mouse cable. Flat out. with Eric Schmidt and the NSA working together: Google Be Evil.

  • Here in Shawano, Wisconsin we have had fiber for years already through our municipal utility.

  • James says:

    I was shocked when I received the email from Google late last year that my local area near Atlanta was on the list of cities/regions to potentially have Google Fiber service. I had always figured if a city like Los Angeles (where I used to live) couldn’t rate high enough to be on their radar, then there was no way a city like Atlanta would. The second reason is actually called out by Google in their response above. The city sits on a $#!tload of granite. (Ever heard of Stone Mountain?) All the utilities are above ground on telephone poles. I don’t know how they expect to bury their fiber lines around here…

    But I sure am hoping it all works out! The day I get Google is the day I tell Comcast to go **** themselves! 😀

  • khaos says:

    30m/s? Hah. Socorro, NM chiming in. CenturyLink is our only reasonable option here for faster than 512k/s and its down 80% of the time! You’d think a college town that does testing for the DoD and others would have better.

  • Chris says:

    Comcast has become a monopoly at this point, having bought out the likes of Charter, Cox, Roadrunner, etc. I think that Ellensburg, WA could certainly benefit from Google Fiber, Central Washington University in particular. It’s currently running DSL with download speeds of a whopping 300kbps.

    Please, please, PLEASE come to town and save us from stranglehold bandwidth and the Evil Empire!

  • Chris says:

    Portland definitely needs more internet options…

  • Darin says:

    It would be really nice if Google could do something for the rural areas around the US that are still limited to dial up and horribly expensive and slow satellite.

  • Travis says:

    I live in Beaverton, which is west of Portland, but I live in an area that has the old Verizon FiOS infrastructure, will the two fiber networks be linked in anyway? I would love to get out from under Frontier and the cable company.

  • bobbintb says:

    We literally have the slowest internet averages in the country in my city (Pocatello) and virtually no competition. But I highly doubt Google Fiber will come to us. We are too small.

  • Levi says:

    Reno would be great, the price we are paying for poor service is horrible.

  • Don says:

    Yeah I’d love it if Google could bring fiber to us, but we live on Camano Island and everything here has to be on utility poles. Our current internet is DSL and we often only get dial-up speeds. Maybe I should try satellite internet; any good recommendations?

  • Jr says:

    I get 100 down and 5 up with time Warner right now but I would jump to Google in a heartbeat. I’m sick of paying so much when in Europe and Asia they have better service at a fraction of the costs.

  • Sam Woodson says:

    Gigabit Internet access doesn’t help if the server (website) you are connecting to can’t deliver it any faster than the 25MB connection you already have. Also, latency is also important.

  • Houston would be a great place …i dont want to have to move to Austin

  • knewman2126 says:

    as a service member i feel Google needs to work with the various bases over the country… im tired of getting ripped off just because only a few providers are available and they offer roughly the same sub-par service.

  • TheRealJustin says:

    While I may be the only person in existence that is happy with my comcast service (shocking, I know) I’m eagerly awaiting Google fiber.

    I do find it odd that this article doesn’t mention the free wifi Google has been installing with the new fiber network. My brother lives in Pryor, Oklahoma (about 30 minutes outside of Tulsa) and their entire town of 10k will have fiber by the end of the year, but their downtown area has had free fiber – based wifi for over a year now. The fact that there is a huge Google complex in their industrial park helps, I assume.

  • jthompson1787 says:

    Just FYI FiOS is fiber to the node…the cabling from the node to your home is exsactly the same…

  • Tom says:

    Provo resident here. I found this page using search terms “why so many network outages google fiber”. I’m paying $4 less for 1gig than I was paying for 90d/90u my previous fiber provider (Veracity) which I’ve been using since 2005. In most cases I can’t tell the difference, maybe that will change in a few years when the internet at large catches up.

    Overall I’ve been pleased, notwithstanding a few letdowns.

    The most disappointing thing (aside from the 4-6 network outages I experience per work day- I work from home) is how dismally slow my connection is to transfer files to Google Drive. I mean, seriously?

    There is one Google server that I have a great connection to, though, it’s the server they had me do a speed test with after the installation. In my case it was:

    I’ve been on fiber a long time, so maybe I’m out of touch with Comcast and other services, but getting Google Fiber comes short of being a life changing event.

Leave a Reply