The city of Los Angeles is now seriously considering the concept of free, citywide WiFi. Yesterday, City Council made the unanimous decision to solicit inquiries from businesses interested in creating the network. Councilman Bob Blumenfield was behind the idea, asserting that it would "bridge the digital divide," making internet access available to those who can't afford it, as well as stimulating the city's economy.
According to ArsTechnica, this project would cost between $3 and $5 billion, which the vendor would be responsible for.
"The city is going into it and writing the agreement, basically saying, 'we have no additional funding for this effort.' We're requiring the vendors that respond to pay for the city resources needed to expedite any permitting and inspection associated with laying their fiber," said Los Angeles Information Technology Agency GM Steve Reneker.
The last time L.A. considered this idea was in 2007, but the plan was abandoned in 2009 after the cost ($38 to $46 million) was deemed too great.
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