In case you are living under a rock, or still using dial up, Google Fiber has announced recently they are considering deploying their Gigibit fiber offering to a number of new cities, including our very own beloved Portland, OR. https://fiber.google.com/newcities/. I thought I would give my perspective to the screaming voices on both sides, and try to put this into context.
So first of all to be clear, this is my personal opinion, not related to HP, not related to any other vendor I may talk about during my day job. Portland, from a technology vendor, is a poorly served market. With many of the technology vendors being in Silicone Valley, and many of the start-ups existing there, or in Seattle, WA, Portland is seen as too small to matter. This is a bit ironic when we consider the growing tech community in the Portland area, certainly small but not insignificant, the sought after lifestyle, and the inexpensive land and power here. I will admit, the taxes and business climate can be challenging, but those can be negotiated.
So what does this have to do with Google Fiber? Currently I pay around $70 per month for Comcast. I get around 50 Mbps for internet speed, and around 12 basic cable channels. I look at upgrading from time to time, but since I use Netflix, Hulu Plus, and a few other channels available on my Apple TVs, there is not much reason. If I could get better speeds and cut the cable out I would, but thus far Comcast has refused. As a former Comcast employee, I understand how the whole thing works, but I am not happy with the restrictiveness, and the poor services. I currently stream content on 3 TV’s as well as a half dozen miscellaneous devices. I telecommute for work, so my internet service is critical to my family and I. Google Fiber is going to be around 20 times faster than what I currently have. Plus I can pay a little more to get a better DVR than Comcast offers, and not worry about rate hikes.
So what does this mean for Portland? As much as I may not love some of the things about Portland, we are nothing if not an innovative city. We have a growing food industry, brewing and distilleries, hundreds of small businesses, and many well established ones such as Intel and Nike to name a few. Give Portland more speed, and watch what we do with it. Despite being treated by many tech vendors as a second class citizen to other larger markets, Portland continues to innovate and make a name for itself.
I know there are many options for Google, but I for one would be thrilled to have internet so fast that I will actually have to upgrade all my wireless routers.