Los Angeles is one giant sprawl of palm trees and highway (503 square miles, to be exact). So when Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who is head of the tech and innovation committee, recently asked the city's Information Technology Agency (ITA) to research a way to help more residents connect with the "digital economy," it all seemed a bit far-fetched.
But Blumenfield believes Wi-Fi in L.A. will help businesses thrive, boost tourism, and people who aren't able to afford Internet access on their own. If approved, Los Anegeles would become the largest city in the country to offer a free Wi-Fi service (sorry, NYC). Such an undertaking would cost over $60 million, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2007.
As we move increasingly online, it's a no-brainer for a major metropolis like L.A.—all cities, really—to grant free Interent access to its residents. The city council plans to revisit ITA's findings in September.