One of the more exciting potential developments in Portland’s near future is the possibility of Google Fiber being installed in the metro area (yep, this includes Tigard, Beaverton, and Hillsboro, among other suburbs of Portland). Fiber is Google’s relatively new internet service that has its roots in only two cities so far—Kansas City, Missouri, and Provo, Utah. Austin, Texas is the next to gain the service. Right now, Google is working with nine metro areas, seeing which city is most viable for their network, and not all of those nine might be chosen, though it’s likely they will be later on, if not now.
Google has been posting jobs for Portland, although the company says this is not a guarantee that the city will be chosen as the next location for Fiber. Seven other cities have also seen the same or similar job postings. However, if Portland is chosen for Fiber, it should create hundreds of contract jobs, mostly for the actual installation of the fiber network.
Portland is currently stuck in an arguable monopoly when it comes to service providers. The average internet user has only a few options, all of which can become prohibitively expensive. The nice thing about Fiber is that it offers affordable internet access for almost a decade, possibly beyond that. You can choose between an initial installation cost and absolutely zero monthly payments afterward for average speed internet, or no installation cost and $70 per month for insanely fast speeds. It’s kind of hard to not want to push for Fiber at those rates. The introduction of Fiber would also encourage more competitive rates between the city’s major providers.
As web designers, Div Creative is pretty excited about the possibility. Google has also been very outspoken about net neutrality, in direct contrast to Comcast, the biggest local provider. We, of course, are fans of net neutrality, so we might be a bit biased and would definitely welcome our beloved Google Overlords to our beloved city.