Los Angeles Citywide Municipal Wireless Network

By unwire, February 14, 2007

As I use my Sprint EVDO card more and more, I have a hard time understanding why this network is needed in Los Angeles where high speed wireless Internet is already available throughout the city from at least two cellular carriers. I don’t believe there is a neighborhood anywhere in Los Angeles that does not have access to multiple DSL providers (many very inexpensive) and cable Internet. Los Angeles is a very big place geographically, this will be a very costly project (to say the least).

I heard about this on the radio today and found more here:

"The winning bidder would probably pay for the installation, while the city would donate space for antennas on city buildings, light poles and other structures….. Villaraigosa said he expected to create a public-private sector partnership and would seek bids as early as this fall. He is forming a working group and plans to hire an expert to iron out details of the ambitious project.

Los Angeles Times: Wi-Fi network operators could try to make their money back in several ways, including showing ads on the free or low-cost service and promoting their higher-speed offers at market prices."

MuniWireless: "According to the news release "the working team will consider several issues, including adopting (the) best business model for Los Angeles’ needs, ensuring community participation in the network’s planning, and honing the network’s ability to improve city services.” Construction is expected to begin by mid-2008 and be complete by 2009."

WiFi Net News: "The plan is in its infancy, with step one listed as “hire expert to figure out how to get network built.”"

The RFQ and bid package here.

More from Dailywireless.

One Comment

  1. I tend to think this would be a pretty worthwhile capital investment for the city to undertake. The start-up cost, quoted at roughly $60 million by two sources in the LA Times article, would not be a particularly large line item in the city’s budget, and upkeep costs would of course be much lower (per year). On the benefits side, this project will bring high-speed access to those residents who cannot afford it (there are many), and would reduce rates and improve service for the rest of us who are able to afford private service. Win win.