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Google eyes Hillsboro expansion

Hillsboro is one of six cities in the region on a short list to get Google Fiber ultra-high-speed broadband by 2015. The others are Beaverton, Gresham, Lake Oswego, Portland and Tigard.by: DANA HAYNES - Lake Oswego Mayor Kent Studebaker speaks at Portland City Hall Wednesday along with other advocates for the arrival of Google Fiber to the metro region.

The announcement was made Feb. 20 during a press conference at Portland City Hall by representatives of the company, the various cities, and a number of businesses that could benefit from the higher speed connections. Google Fiber, which is currently only available in a few markets nationally, is roughly 100 times faster than conventional broadband.

“We’re thrilled that Google is starting the conversation with cities in this region,” said Darcy Nothnagle, the company’s western regional public affairs and government relations director.by: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Darcy Nothnagle, Googles western regional public affairs and government relations director, stands in front of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and other regional leaders. Portland is on a shortlist of cities that could see super fast Internet by next year.

The cities are not required to put any money into the effort. Instead, they must convince Google that the existing infrastructure can support fiberoptic to virtually every home and school, and that the governments can quickly issue the large number of permits needed to complete the project quickly.

More than two dozen other cities in the country are also in the running.

Nothnagle said her company hopes to receive the information it has requested by May and decide where to expand by the end of the year.

Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey said he believes the existing high tech companies in his city would also benefit from such a network.

“We have a need for speed, and can’t think of a better place to put this innovation in place,” said Willey.Google Fiber has named nine metro areas across the nation to possibly bring ulta-highspeed Internet by 2015.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said all businesses will benefit from ultra high-speed broadband access.

“Whether it’s a high-tech company or a traditional manufacturer, all businesses rely on broadband access these days,” said Hales.

Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz said the city has sent bottles of local craft beers to Google officials as part of its lobbying efforts.

Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle was equally excited, but said it is important that everyone is served, regardless of income levels.

“It is really important that the equity piece is included,” said Doyle.



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