Los Angeles to bring free fiber-based internet to city residents and businesses

By on November 6, 2013, 10:30 AM
internet, broadband, los angeles, gigabit fiber, gigabit internet

Los Angeles is planning to roll out fiber-based Internet to every residence, business and government entity within the city limits. The network, which would also power public Wi-Fi hotspots, is expected to provide free Internet access to anyone at 2-5 Mbps speed (probably subsidized by advertising) and of course, high speed paid access plans of up to a gigabit for those who need and can afford a faster connection.

The city council has unanimously decided to move ahead and draft an RFP (request for proposals) for the ambitious project. Once the RFP is issued, bids would be accepted for the next three months. The cost of the project is expected to be around $3-$5 billion and would be borne by the winning bidder. Additionally, in order to make sure that nobody is forced out of market, Los Angeles wants the selected vendor to sell access to other fiber service providers on a wholesale basis.

The project seems to be part of broader strategic IT plan as the RFP would favor companies that can provide data center hosting and cellular services in addition to fiber internet. This makes AT&T and Verizon the front runners among the lot that includes Cox, Charter and Time Warner.

Google fiber will not be considered in its current form as their business model currently focuses only on residential customers, not businesses. "They would have to change their business model", LA Information Technology Agency GM, Steve Reneker, told ArsTechnica.

With a third of city population earning less than $45,000 a year and schools rolling out iPads for students, it's becoming increasingly important to provide Internet service to city residents at affordable rates, Reneker said.

Image via LA Times




User Comments: 13

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1 person liked this | Nima304 said:

This is great! I hope other major cities take notice and follow suit.

Guest said:

Does it say what it covers specifically as in County of LA or just LA as in downtown only how about East LA, West La I wonder

treeski treeski said:

Nothing is free. How is the city going to pay for this?

dikbozo said:

A good idea basically but encumbered by the phone and data center requirements. This cuts out smaller local and/or regional carriers who could do the fiber build but lack the data center facilities. The phone element could be an added on build using either the local switch for the fiber as a base or using some parts of the distribution network for nits towers. I do like it but have reservations around the data center. Those things can easily run another Billion.

Guest said:

Nothing is free. How is the city going to pay for this?

Read first and second paragraph. smh

mailpup mailpup said:

Does it say what it covers specifically as in County of LA or just LA as in downtown only how about East LA, West La I wonder
No need to wonder. You just need to read beyond the title of the article. The first sentence plainly says within the city limits so, no, it's not going to cover the county outside of the City of L.A. Why? Because the City Council has no jurisdiction outside the city limits of Los Angeles. Also, what is known as West L.A. is in the city while what is known as East L.A. is mostly unincorporated county territory so you can figure from that.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I don't remember Cole Phelps taking advantage of the city's fibre in LA Noire, he just used to make calls from a police call box on every street corner.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I can just picture the CEO from Verizon and TimeWarner hearing about this, then dialing each other and saying "Not if we can help it".

Littleczr Littleczr said:

Does it say what it covers specifically as in County of LA or just LA as in downtown only how about East LA, West La I wonder
No need to wonder. You just need to read beyond the title of the article. The first sentence plainly says within the city limits so, no, it's not going to cover the county outside of the City of L.A. Why? Because the City Council has no jurisdiction outside the city limits of Los Angeles. Also, what is known as West L.A. is in the city while what is known as East L.A. is mostly unincorporated county territory so you can figure from that.

I live in van nuys which is los angeles city, but burbank is L.A county. So maybe some parts of L.A county might be covered.

mailpup mailpup said:

They can hope but I highly doubt it. Just my opinion.

tonylukac said:

Someday in the far future I may live there in the 2 winter months so this is great for me.

Mooseinadesert Mooseinadesert said:

Nothing is free. How is the city going to pay for this?

It is actually cheaper then the horrible internet they get there.

mailpup mailpup said:

I can just picture the CEO from Verizon and TimeWarner hearing about this, then dialing each other and saying "Not if we can help it".
Verizon is expected to be one of the bidders. Why would it be a problem for them?

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