Google's fiber hut proposals enter review process with Portland city council

Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) appears to be moving forward with long-awaited plans to bring its 1 Gbps FTTH service to Portland, Ore., as the city council is going to review its applications to install seven fiber huts around the city.

While Google Fiber has indicated that Portland is a potential target to deliver service, Mary Beth Henry, director of Portland's Office of Community Technology, told The Oregonian that the filings don't mean the company is making a "firm commitment."

Google Fiber did not respond to The Oregonian's request for a comment on the filings.

Regardless, the applications show that the service provider is getting ready to start building out a network in the city.

According to the applications filed with the city, each of the fiber huts are about 12 feet by 30 feet, and 9 feet high. When these huts are installed, they would be located behind a 10-foot fence. These huts will house the network equipment that will deliver services to each home.

Each of these huts, according to the land-use applications, will be able to support up to 40,000 homes, surpassing the initial number of sites it said it would be able to support when Portland granted a franchise for Google Fiber to provide FTTH service in the city. In crafting a deal with the city, Portland city commissioners had to agree to tone down some of their restrictions on the placement of utility cabinets along rights of way.   

But if and when Google Fiber does bring its 1 Gbps service to Portland it's going to face strong competition from two of the city's local telcos -- CenturyLink and Frontier -- which are both offering similar services.

CenturyLink began offering its 1 Gbps service coupled with its Prism TV offering in May. Leveraging its existing FiOS platform it acquired from Verizon, Frontier launched a similar service in Beaverton, Ore., in October 2014.

In addition to CenturyLink and Frontier, Comcast is also considering bringing its 2 Gbps service to the city.

For more:
- The Oregonian has this article

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