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L.A. Proposes $5 Billion Gigabit Network - with No Tax Dollars

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Go big or go home! That's the broadband gauntlet Los Angeles threw down in a big way last week. All eyes are turning to the West Coast to see what this bold entry means in the drive for Gigabit Cities.

Angelenos are looking at a potential $3 - $5 *billion* fiber network spread across the entire 470 square mile urban sprawl, 5 Mbps of free Internet access, affordable faster access for 1/3 of the city's 3.7 million people and services to businesses as well as residences. But instead of the fawning "take me, I'm yours" posture of typical Google Fiber suitors, L.A. officials expect a winning bidder to front the entire buildout investment, operate an open access infrastructure and not plan on the City to make things like permitting easy. 

Sound familiar? Think 2006, muni WiFi and free service. "However, don't expect this to be deja vu all over again," says Gigabit Nation guest Steve Reneker, Los Angeles' General Mgr. of the Information Technology Agency. Reneker is the former CIO of Riverside, CA, and while there he ran an impressive city wireless network and digital inclusion program that paid their full overhead every year. Listeners will get a detailed briefing on the project and answers to key questions such as:

  • is this approach different from 2006 efforts that spawned shaky startups and bad business plans?
  • does the city really expect private companies will front billions while the City won't even grease the wheels of the permitting process
  • why are't the L. A. Dept of Water and Power fiber assets off the table
  • will the City aggregate demand as an enticement to bidders
  • what's the City's leverage to ensure the successful bidder's network produces the desired economic and other outcomes 

Don't miss this interview of the year!

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