Los Angeles, CA is embarking on a study to identify broadband technology that’s both low-cost and easily deployable to close the digital divide, especially in low-income neighborhoods. The city’s goal is to ensure all residents and communities have access to broadband internet and WiFi. StateScoop reported the city is teaming up with vendor-research firm Marketplace.City to identify solutions.
LA is employing various research and initiatives, including creating connectivity and WiFi coverage maps citywide to identify gaps. According to Miguel Sangalang, interim director of LA’s Bureau of Streetlighting , the city wants to find “everything under the sun” that can lead to improvements. He added that the city is also leveraging existing infrastructure — streetlights, poles, buildings, property, fiber, and other public assets — making it available to vendors.
The city is seeking community partners to help deploy free WiFi, across various scenarios, with a deadline to propose solutions by April 28, reported StateScoop. Some funding is available, but the city needs to consider and review other options and business models. LA does not want a “one size fits all” approach; Marketplace.City outlines the opportunity here.
“We’re looking for all those different players, pieces, technologies now,” Sangalang said. “We can apply it in different areas to the city. There’s no one right answer for how we approach some of these things, and we’ll probably want a mix.”