Google Fiber pulls the plug on Portland

So much for that idea. Google was all set to begin installing a high-speed fiber-optic network in Portland this year, but the company is shelving those plans. According to an Aug. 15 article in the Wall Street Journal, Google Fiber is exploring the use of wireless technology — instead of fiber — to connect homes, and is putting planned fiber roll-outs in Portland and other cities on hold.

Several Portland-area general contractors that employ union members had submitted bids to manage the work for Google, but they never got to the stage of signing a contract, says Tracy Harness, manager of the union-signatory Northwest Line Constructors Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

Google Fiber has installed fiber networks in six metro areas around the United States, offering Internet at 40 times the speed of broadband for $70 a month and cable TV for an extra $60.

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