A tax break that was designed to try to get Google Fiber to come to Oregon is actually giving a huge break to Comcast, the existing internet provider in Oregon. The law offers tax incentives to companies who offer gigabit internet services. When they created the law, it’s possible that Google Fiber was the only provider of gigabit services, but technology always marches along and improves itself, so now Comcast also provides that service. While Google offers the prices at an affordable rate for most customers, Comcast’s gigabit internet prices are $300 per month with a start up fee of at least $1,000. A local rep told new reporters that they never envisioned this law being used in such a way.
When Comcast’s benefit was challenged, the Public Utility Commission did rule that Comcast’s service qualified under the new law. It must be frustrating to those in Oregon because Google Fiber hasn’t even committed to providing service in Oregon yet, though it does list Portland as a potential city. Local government people are not happy with this new development which they say will take millions of dollars away from schools and public works that really need the money. Everyone is surprised at how this new law turned out.
However, who can blame Comcast for simply taking advantage of a new law that applies to services they offer. Some would argue that the Oregonian government should have been more specific if they had types of services or companies in mind when they created the law, to avoid such a SNAFU.
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