Google's high-speed fiber project is now cleared to do business in Portland, thanks to a franchise agreement approved last week by the Portland City Council. Under the arrangement, Google would pay a five percent franchise fee on any video revenue, but avoid the extra three percent fee charged to more conventional fiber purveyors like Comcast. Portland is one of 34 cities that Google has named as a possible site for Fiber. The company is expected to make a final decision about whether to expand into Portland by the end of the year.
Even with the franchise agreement in place, there are still a number of obstacles that could keep Google Fiber out of Portland. Google is still testing the demand for Fiber within Portland, which will be weighed against local regulations and the expected cost of access to the city's utility poles. Google Fiber is currently committed to service in only three cities: the service launched in Kansas City and is currently expanding to Austin and Provo, Utah.