Google has already named its next gigabit cities: Atlanta, Nashville, Salt Lake City and the areas of Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham in N.C. However, a report in The Oregonian suggests Portland, Ore. may be cutting to the front of the line.
According to the report, first unearthed by DSLReports, Google Fiber Inc. executives shared the news in a meeting last week that Portland will be the company's next gigabit city. Charlotte tech entrepreneur Alan Fitzpatrick, a co-founder of Charlotte Hearts Gigabit, was surprised by the information given that Portland isn't slated for Google Fiber service until after cities in Georgia, Tennessee, Utah and North Carolina get their due. However, Portland does have ties to the gigabit provider already, and many have speculated that the city would join Google's gigabit list in the near future.
Google has already signed a franchise agreement with Portland and received tax incentives for gigabit deployment. The company also acknowledged in January that it was exploring the possibility of extending service into Portland, Phoenix, San Antonio and San Jose.
The fact that Portland wasn't on Google's short list came as a surprise to industry followers when that list was announced earlier this year.
"I'm kind of surprised, because the Portland folks have been making more 'we get it next' noise than the rest," said independent industry analyst Craig Settles back in January. "Raleigh and Portland have been most vocal… and the fact that Portland's not on this list is definitely a surprise." (See Google Continues Gigabit Expansion.)
Currently, Google is offering gigabit service in Kansas City, Provo, Utah and Austin for $70 per month. News emerged last week that network construction has begun in Nashville and Salt Lake City. Construction started in Charlotte last month.
In other recent gigabit news:
- Service provider Ting has launched gigabit broadband in Charlottesville, Va.
- Wave Broadband introduced its gigabit offering in San Francisco
- Consolidated Communications Inc. lit up gigabit service in the Houston area
- The city of Los Angeles is getting ready to release a request for proposal in an effort to find partners for its new CityLinkLA gigabit service initiative
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading