The efforts are an attempt to bridge the digital divide, meaning the economic barriers to internet access, which is now an essential part of daily life and work (which you know, duh). According to Mayor Eric Garcetti, as quoted on Blumenfield’s site, about 30 percent of households in LA don’t have any access to broadband Internet.
Internet providers who agree to serve one of the city’s four quadrants (LA’s so big, it was broken up into quarters for the request) will receive sped-up permits for installing infrastructure and deals on leasing city-owned property, like street lights where they could perch WiFi devices. City agencies including Metro and the Housing Authority have also offered to lease property that could be used for infrastructure to build out the citywide network. Teamwork!
The Request for Proposals will be open until November, at which point we will have a better idea of who our new internet overlords will be.
· Los Angeles initiatve to Deploy Citywide Gigabit Broadband Network With Free Wireless Access Crosses Major Milestone [Bob Blumenfield]
· City Council Takes Steps Toward Free Internet Access Throughout Los Angeles [CBS LA]
· Here’s How LA’s Citywide Free Internet Plan Would Work [Curbed LA]