LA Has Ambitious Goal to Bring Free Internet to its 3.5 Million Residents and Businesses

The city of Los Angeles is about to get a boost in free internet if city officials get their way – free internet with the construction of the largest broadband project to date. If completed the new fiber will be delivering internet to the municipality’s 3.5 residents and businesses in addition to supplying free data to areas with public Wi-Fi.
While the new internet will be delivering free data, it’s not as lofty as it sounds. For now, the city is hoping that a private company will step in to do the city-wide build-out since no city money is allocated for the project. In exchange, free data will be subsidized by advertising and the city’s wave of easy permitting and approvals.
Angelenos have access to residential services through companies like AT&T, Verizon, and other at speeds of 5Mbps to 50Mbps. The new cable and service will be approximately around 2Mbps to 5Mbps, with options for paid tiers of faster speed. With approximately a third of Angelenos making less than $45,000 a year, the free internet, with advertising, would be a boon to residents. LA is already supplying iPads to 650,000 students so those kids will need internet connections at home to do homework and research.
In August of this year, LA councilman Bob Blumenfield was pushing for free city-wide Wi-Fi. With a Request For Proposal for city-wide broadband in draft, the city is a little closer to its goal, albeit a little short.