Los Angeles is looking for a communications company to run fiber to the premises city-wide. The Los Angeles City Council has voted unanimously to draft an RFP that would invite service providers to bid on the project.
LA’s desire is to have fiber extended to both residential and business customers (Google Fiber, for example, is specifically a residential service). Initial estimates peg the costs anywhere from $3 billion to $5 billion, and the city expects the bidder to assume it all.
The city also wants the winning bidder to provide free connectivity to all at something between 2 Mbps and 5 Mbps. LA also wants a Wi-Fi component, in part to support its recent education program in which it is equipping public school students with iPads.
The move mirrors efforts by the cities of Seattle and Chicago.
Chicago is looking to have a private company light up dark fiber owned by the city, and then extend that network to start providing connectivity and free Wi-Fi access in public spaces.
Seattle meanwhile has already contracted with an overbuilder, Gigabit Squared. Comcast is so adamantly opposed to that program that it tried (unsuccessfully) to unseat the mayor that proposed it.