The Los Angeles City Council approved a Request for Participants (RFP) to identify one or more providers to commit to deploying advanced wireline and wireless networks that can provide one gigabit broadband speed or more to residences and businesses. The RFP asks proposers to provide a free level of service, including free basic wireless services, and to complete build-out within the next five years. The RFP was issued as part of CityLinkLA, the long-term initiative led by Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield to ensure that Los Angeles is among the most connected cities worldwide. The RFP received unanimous approval from Los Angeles City Council. The city will not pay for the network, but will contribute city assets for use by the provider.
More specifically, the City asks for Proposers to propose networks that will:
– Provide wireline access to the Internet to the home and business (or to the curb outside a home or business combined with a wireless connection to the premises) via a network designed to deliver symmetrical speeds of 1 Gbps or higher to each residential unit, and to offer a business level of service at similar or higher speeds.
– Provide ready Wi-Fi access to the Internet that will maximize the availability of the Internet to residents and visitors in developed areas of the City.
– Address the individuals and families not regularly accessing the Internet today due to cost, access, awareness, or equipment issues (an issue often referred to as the “digital divide”) through provision of a level of free access to the Internet via wireline and Wi-Fi services, and services to targeted community centers.
To support this initiative the City is prepared to:
– Establish a Digital Infrastructure Permitting Group and a single point of contact that will provide for expedited handling of applications for construction of major communications projects in order to streamline and speed deployment of advanced communications infrastructure.
– Provide space on certain City property suitable for placement of hubs or “central offices” for a rate that could be as low as $3 per sq. ft. The City has identified over 100 sites throughout the City where about 1400 sq. ft. in total is available without the need for a conditional use permit or other discretionary authorization for placement of a precast one-story aggregation non-occupied building approximately 12’x30’ in size, with surrounding space for access assuming that the “public benefits” criteria set out in Section 14.00(A)(6) of the Los Angeles Municipal Code are met.
– Lease existing fiber optic strands in bulk under long term contracts at a rate that escalates over time, so that in early construction years, the cost burden to potential entrants is minimized.
– Lease access to the storm water drainage system to allow providers to minimize delays that may otherwise follow if providers were required to obtain, for example, permits to cross federal highways.
– Provide access at favorable bulk rates to City street light standards with appropriate power supplies for placement of Wi-Fi devices.
– Provide access to park property for placement of Wi-Fi infrastructure that will permit providers to reach some of the most highly trafficked areas within the City.
– Work with the selected provider or providers to jointly brand and promote the project and to coordinate it with other City efforts to bridge the digital divide, in a way that would help provide market opportunities for each selected provider.
Deadline for responses is 12 November 2015.