LA Officials Mull Plan: High-Speed Wi-Fi for All Angelenos

Building a new high-speed boadband network in LA was compared to building a railroad in the 19th century

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Officials met in front of City Hall on Monday to formally announce a request for information that would be used to create a proposal to build a high-speed broadband network for Los Angeles. Conan Nolan reports for NBC4 News at Noon from downtown Los Angeles Monday, April 7, 2014. (Published Monday, Apr 7, 2014)

    Los Angeles wants to be the first large metropolis where high-speed Internet connections are in every home and business.

    Announcing a plan on Monday, city official said the idea is to create a powerful $1 billion network that would be available to all Angelenos.

    "We want to provide a broadband that is truly accessible to everyone and every corner of the city," said Councilman Bob Blumenfield.

    Details about who the vendor would be or the cost to the public were not immediately available. City officials need to first draft a proposal and get feedback from the public and others.

    Rick Cole, Los Angeles deputy mayor for budget and innovation for the city, likened the plan to building railroads in the 19th century.

    Creating city-wide Wi-Fi along with fiber optic connections in neighborhoods would increase global competitiveness and make significant strides in closing the digital divide, officials said.

    City leaders said they hoped a new broadband network would entice larger companies to move or start up in LA. They said they believe the city’s economy may have suffered because of its poor Wi-Fi infrastructure.

    As it is, nearly one third of the city Internet consumers can’t afford or don’t have access to high-speed Internet.

    Earlier this year, Metro announced it was considering a contract that would bring cellphone and Wi-Fi service to the subways of Los Angeles.

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