In recent times, we have seen services like Google Fiber brings high-speed internet to entire cities. Apparently, this trend is catching on. Los Angeles has now cited a rather ambitious plan of bringing free, fiber-based internet to all of its 3.5 million residents.
The free internet will be available to both the common users as well as the businesses and will offer speeds between 2Mbps and 5Mbps. Users will also be provided with the option of paying for the service, in which case they will get ultra-high speeds of up to 1 Gigabit.
The way Los Angeles intends to fund this project is rather interesting. The city is not ready to spend anything on the fiber-based internet on its own. According to Los Angeles IT Agency GM Steve Reneker, “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.”
The suggestions from the authorities hint that whichever vendor undertakes the project may be able to earn from it through advertisements pushed to the users. Since the service is planned to be free, users may not mind such free ads all that much.
Reneker also proposes that once the infrastructure for fiber-based internet is in place, the company completing the project can also offer telephony and TV service, which can be the profit-oriented portion of the whole effort. For the next three months, Los Angeles will be accepting bids for the project, after which it will take the city six to nine months to review and finalize a vendor. Hopefully, residents of Los Angeles can look forward to free high-speed internet in two years or so.
Courtesy: The Verge