LA to issue RFP for citywide free broadband access program

Nov 06, 2013 by Bob Yirka weblog
Credit: Wikipedia.

(Phys.org) —Last month, Steve Reneke, IT Agency GM for the city of Los Angeles, offered a proposal to the city council outlining a plan to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for installing underground fiber to every home, business and government facility inside the city limits, along with free Internet access. This past week, the city council approved the plan. That means that construction could begin as early as next year with new users coming online not long after. What's most surprising about the RFP, perhaps, is that it calls for the winning vendor to pay for it all.

On its face, it might seem like vendors such as AT&T, Verizon, etc. might have little incentive to build a huge fiber network in a major . After, all, most people in the city already have Internet access. Others might worry that the city is instigating a monopoly for a single vendor. The reality is that there is a huge incentive and there won't be a monopoly. The incentive, Reneke believes, is for a vendor to add more services to user plans. Underground fiber will be able to carry not just Internet, but television and phone services as well. This will allow the vendor to offer triple-play packages, where customers sign up for multiple services to gain lower costs with a bundled package. The RFP also calls for unrestricted access to the fiber network by other vendors, who will have to pay for it of course. The winning vendor then, will likely more than recoup their original investment, and could wind up with a cash-cow for years to come. The city wins too because the network will extend to families that cannot currently afford broadband access, a fact that has become more prominent as Los Angeles area schools have purchased iPads for students to use as part of their schoolwork.

The news in LA comes on the heels of announcements by Google of new city broadband projects, which the company has been building in various cities throughout the country. Google only offers residential service, however, and to date has not responded to RFP's, thus it's not considered to be in the running as a candidate vendor for LA.

In his proposal paper, Reneke suggested that the RFP would outline 2 to 5Mbps free service to anyone in the city with faster options (up to a 1 gigabit) for those willing to pay for it. He said he expects the project to cost the winning vendor $3 to $5 billion dollars. It will likely take three months for the vendors to respond to the RFP and an additional nine months for the city to choose a winner.

Explore further: Studying the speed of multi-hop Bluetooth networks

More information: cityclerk.lacity.org/lacitycle… ord&cfnumber=13-0953
clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2… rpt_ita_09-03-13.pdf

Related Stories

Google unveils ultrafast wired home project

Jul 26, 2012

Google on Thursday unveiled an ultrafast Web service along with an Internet television subscription in the Kansas City area as part of a pilot project to boost broadband speeds.

Recommended for you

End to end 5G for super, superfast mobile

Nov 24, 2014

A collaboration between NEC Electronics Samsung and several academic centres in China and Iran, is investigating how software-defined cellular networking might be used to give smart phone users the next generation of super-superfast ...

German study supports free "Super WiFi"

Nov 24, 2014

The need for the wireless transfer of data will increase significantly in the coming years. Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) therefore propose to turn some of the TV frequencies that ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

VENDItardE
1 / 5 (11) Nov 06, 2013
fo idiot

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.