Multnomah County commissioners approved it. So did the city councils of Gresham, Troutdale, Fairview and Wood Village. Now they’re all waiting for Portland City Council to authorize its share of funding for a study of what it would cost to install fiber-optic cable door to door. That would determine whether a system of public-owned Internet access is feasible at a lower cost than existing providers like Comcast, (and 40 times as fast).
The Municipal Broadband PDX campaign, headed by Multnomah County IT worker (and union officer) Michael Hanna, is backed by the Northwest Oregon Labor Council and five other labor organizations.
In conversations with City Hall staff, Hanna was told initially that Portland City Council would authorize $100,000 for the study in a mid-year budget adjustment slated for a Nov. 7 vote. Now, mayor’s office staff has asked the campaign to instead submit a grant request for consideration from a special appropriations fund that will be awarded Nov. 29.