Category Archives: tips

Contact your Multnomah County Board of Commissioners!

Sharon Meieran, Multnomah County Commissioner from District #1 has filed a proposed budget amendment to fund part of a feasibility study for a Municipal Broadband Utility. They will vote on this amendment on Thursday May 31. Please contact your Multnomah County representatives and urge them to support this important step towards breaking the monopoly power of the big telecommunications companies!

Sandy moving ahead with a municipal fiber network

So far, Sandy residents seem solidly behind the project. In a survey the city conducted to gauge interest in building the network, one resident wrote, “I am so proud to be part of a city that is this forward thinking.”

The Oregonian is reporting that the City of Sandy, Oregon is moving ahead with a municipal fiber network, as other communities have in various ways around the country and around the world. You know, living here in Portland, I sorely wish I could be proud too.

May 11 Draft Broadband Strategic Plan

As of a few days ago, the City has posted a draft Broadband Strategic Plan. I encourage everyone to read the document and then to comment on it and to point out where it comes up short.

Portland needs to invest in scarcity-squashing infrastructure. The City has built its own fiber infrastructure for governmental use. It’s time for the City to look out for its citizens and let them own their own infrastructure as well. The public stands to reap enormous benefits, both in avoiding perpetual rent and by enabling competition in service providers on the infrastructure. Don’t let this opportunity slip by.

Gigabit IPA recipe is open-source!


When Google invited America to get inspired by gigabit fiber technology, Portland’s innovative geek and brewer communities responded by creating a fresh and edgy organic beer to answer Google’s call. Portland Gigabit IPA offers a massive NW hop aroma, rich citrus and pine accents aggressively balanced with clear malt caramel flavor, and a deep, clean, satisfying finish.

We believe in the opportunity offered by gigabit fiber networks for Portland and for communities everywhere. We’re “opening the source code” so you can home brew a Gigabit IPA all your own. (It’s fiber-to-the-home, right?) Sam Adams • Mayor, City of Portland, Oregon

Learn more about Gigabit IPA here:

Here is the recipe.
Here is your collectible poster:

Gigabit IPA Recipe and Announcement by Bram Pitoyo

Wednesday, March 17th, Be Green for Fiber

Many of us probably already planned to wear green tomorrow, but, this year, please join me in being “Green for Fiber.”

There are a lot of reasons to be green for fiber:

1. High speed networks make telecommuting possible, saving emissions caused by daily commutes.

2. Wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day keeps you from getting pinched. Open-access, community fiber will keep you from getting pinched by ISP bandwidth caps and protocol blocking.

3. High speed networks will encourage new business development, meaning more green in our city.

4. We’re green with envy at cities that already enjoy speeds of 50-100Mbps, and we want them to envy our 1Gbit service.

Whatever your reason, on March 17th, 2010, join me in being green for fiber!

Tips for Nominating Portland

If you’re considering nominating Portland for Google’s Fiber RFI, you may be wondering what you can say to help make the case. The most important thing you can do is fill out the form, because doing so demonstrates to Google that you are interested in them building fiber in Portland. Even if you don’t have much to say, it’s worthwhile for you to make your interest known. The more Portlanders let Google know we want fiber, the more supportive our community and city will appear.

Here are some additional points you might consider. It’s best if you think about how these relate to your own experience, and discuss what they mean to you as a consumer of Broadband, Phone and Television service.

1. A fiber optic network would not just provide Internet access. It would also support landline telephone and television service. Consider more than just your Internet access needs when imagining what might be improved by additional competition.

2. High speed broadband will likely lead to new services and uses that most of us haven’t even thought of yet. Portland is a creative community with many tech-enthused entrepreneurs. Building this network today has the potential to get our community “in on the ground floor” for next-generation services, and lead to innovative products and services.

3. Currently, Portland has very few broadband options, compared to many other cities. We have three city-wide options for broadband infrastructure: Comcast cable, Qwest phone lines (used by all DSL providers) and Clear WiMax. Only one of these providers (Comcast) offers speeds over 7Mbit/sec to Portland (Qwest has a few areas offering higher speeds, but mostly maxes out at 7Mbit/sec). Comcast has a monopoly on high speed broadband. The fiber optic network that Google is proposing would provide speeds of 1000Mbit/sec.

4. Every local ISP is forced to use Qwest’s antiquated and under-supported infrastructure. This means that local Internet providers cannot offer competitive service. Qwest has stated, unequivocally, that they have no intention of building fiber to the premises in Portland. Local ISPs will continue to compete at a severe disadvantage, unless an open-access fiber network is built in Portland.

5. Portland is surrounded by cities with fiber provided by Verizon. Portland is served by Qwest, but the cities around us have Verizon, who has built a fiber optic network. While we prefer an open-model to fiber that is limited to one company’s service, it is abundantly clear that our suburbs currently offer more competition in the broadband market than the City of Portland is able to provide.