The Portland City Council will discuss updating a 10-year-contract it has with Google Fiber on Wednesday.
Portland is among a handful of cities where Google Fiber is considering building a high-speed network.
The proposed agreement would give the company the right to use city streets to lay fiber optic cable. In exchange, the company would pay a 3 percent fee to support efforts to get low-income households online in Portland.
The company has been criticized for failing to reach black and low-income families in other cities. Mary Beth Henry, with Portland’s office of community technology, said the company would offer some type of low-cost broadband in Portland, likely around $20 a month.
“Google Fiber also learned more about what works in digital equity, and is focused on affordable housing and working with libraries and non-profits,” Henry said.
The agreement specifies that Google Fiber would work with affordable and public housing providers and offer some residents free internet service. But the company hasn’t formally committed to building a network in Portland yet.
And the agreement doesn’t require that Google Fiber provide its high speed service across Portland. At least one city, Charlotte, North Carolina, has done that.
“I’m very hopeful that they will be deploying. They certainly have made considerable progress over the last year in securing the necessary rights,” Henry said.