Google Fiber gets green light to operate network in Portland, Ore.

Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) overcame a major hurdle in bringing its service to Portland, Ore., as the City Council voted 5-0 to approve a franchise agreement, reports the Portland Business Journal.

Under the terms of the 10-year agreement, which extends until 2024, the city will allow Google to begin plotting out where it would place huts that would house electronics to deliver services to residents and "fiberhoods." One of the key pieces of getting the agreement done was that Portland city commissioners had to agree to tone down some of their restrictions on the placement of utility cabinets along rights of way. 

Although the franchise agreement was approved, there's no promise that Google Fiber will actually deploy service in Portland.

"This franchise agreement is an important step along the path to Fiber, so it's great that it's been approved," Google spokeswoman Jenna Wandres told the Portland Business Journal in an email. "There's still a lot of work to do beyond this one agreement, but we hope to provide an update about whether we can bring Fiber here later this year."

In April, Google Fiber carved out a tentative franchise agreement with the city. This is one of the first major cities where it has signed such an agreement. 

Outside of Portland, Google Fiber is talking with 34 other cities about on how they could deploy service, while other cities like San Antonio, Texas, have reached a preliminary agreement. However, none of these cities will find out if they were selected or not until either the end of this year or next year.   

Similar to Portland, the key issues in pursuing deployments in other cities is Google's ability get access to a streamlined permitting process for building fiber huts along public rights of way.

For more:
- Portland Business Journal has this article

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