Google moving to downtown Portland

NET ROUNDUP: Internet giant confirms plans to lease space for an engineering office; Apple plans ‘major expansion’ to data center; cities explore developing their own fiber networks.

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Google will lease a space in the U.S. Bank building in downtown Portland.

“A number of Google engineers have called downtown Portland home since 2010, and we’re excited to be growing here,” public affairs and government relations manager for Google’s Western Region, Darcy Nothnagle, said in a written statement. “While it’s early days, we know the new space just around the corner on Sixth Ave. will provide a great work environment for our expanding team and are looking forward to getting to know our neighbors even better.”

Portland Business Journal reports:

Google did not get into details on the office or its size — the company is typically quiet on head count — but sources tell the Business Journal that 100 employees are expected to move into the office quickly.

The move is not related to the proposed expansion of Google Fiber service in Portland.

Since Google has been slow to to provide its super-fast fiber-based Internet service in the Portland area, a few suburbs are exploring the possibility of creating their own networks.


Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Gresham and West Linn are at various stages of assessing how they might commission their own fiber-optic networks, which they hope would upgrade Internet speeds and hold down costs for residents and businesses.

They’re following the path of smaller cities across the state that have already built their own networks to boost connection speeds, largely in communities the big companies have overlooked. Most of Portland’s suburbs already have at least two options for broadband service, and might get more if Google Fiber arrives with its gigabit connections – 25 times faster than the minimum broadband threshold.

The cities are hoping that by setting up their own network, they could control costs more effectively.

Apple plans ‘major expansion’ to data center

Capitalizing on a law that reduces Oregon property tax rates, Apple will undertake a “major, major expansion” to its Prineville data center.

Crook County administrator Judge Mike McCabe said on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Think Out Loud” that the company was planning the expansion but didn’t have any further details. reports:

Data centers are not big employers – Facebook employs just 126 at its three large buildings in Prineville, for example. But they can have a large impact in small, rural communities. Crook County has just about 5,400 employees altogether and one of Oregon’s highest unemployment rates, at 9.5 percent.

Despite their massive property tax breaks, the data centers are nonetheless major contributors to local government – a byproduct of the huge volumes of electricity they use to power and cool their computers.



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