Los Angeles Aims At Citywide, Free Wireless

The City of Los Angeles is hoping to kick off an effort to provide free, wireless access across the city, and has issued an RFP asking wireless providers to come up with a plan to provide one gigabit broadband service to residences and businesses, plus offer up free basic wireless service to the entire city. The RFP, dubbed CityLinkLA, asks providers to create a plan to complete build-out of a network within the next five years across Los Angeles. In exchange, the city is offering up space on city property, access to storm water drainage systems for easier fiber routing, favorable rates to lease city street lights, and ability to install Wi-Fi infrastructure at city parks, among other support.

The city of Los Angeles said the RFP is part of an effort by Mayor Eric Garcetti to ensure the city is among the most connected cities worldwide, to help drive the city's entertainment, tech and entrepreneurial activity, and also provide broadband access to the 30 percent of residents who still don't have broadband access.