Today, Google announced the selection of Kansas City, KS, as the initial city chosen for construction of an ultra high speed, open access fiber broadband system. The City of Portland was one of more than 1,000 cities to respond to Google’s RFI (announced February 2010) encouraging Google to build here. On behalf of City Council, Commissioner Saltzman emphasized that Portland is already moving forward with multiple broadband initiatives, including the development of a Citywide Broadband Strategic Plan, as authorized by the Council in September 2010. The Broadband Strategic Plan is currently being developed by an interagency and community team for Council review later this year.
In the wake of Google’s announcement today, Commissioner Saltzman released the following joint statement on behalf of the Mayor and City Council:
“We wholeheartedly thank all of the gifted citizen volunteers, businesses, and dedicated members of Portland’s creative, high-tech, and social networking communities for helping us develop a response to Google last year that was uniquely 'Portland' in both letter and spirit. The City’s response to Google truly brought everyone together to focus on crucial broadband issues in support of this project. While we are disappointed that Portland was not selected by Google, the importance of affordable and accessible broadband to job growth and economic development in our city remains.
“We are already moving forward with the broadband strategic planning effort authorized by the City Council last year, and we will continue to develop ways in which the City can support broadband projects here, knowing that high speed affordable fiber broadband to every home and business represents basic infrastructure for the 21st Century. It means jobs, education, healthcare, and access to services across the digital divide--all key elements of a sustainable city. We remain committed to the broadband future Portland wants and needs.”
For more about current broadband initiatives in Portland, go to the following link or contact Mary Beth Henry with the Office of Cable Communications and Franchise Management at (503) 823-5414.