Los Angeles News
Councilman Wants Free Citywide Wi-Fi
By Melissa Simon
Aug 1, 2013 - 10:52:19 AM

LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles Councilman Bob Blumenfield introduced a motion on Tuesday, July 30 where he suggested free citywide Wi-Fi, or wireless Internet, for Los Angeles.

Blumenfield said the free Wi-Fi would be beneficial for a wide range of people, including government officials, businesses, visitors and those who cannot afford private Wi-Fi.

Councilman Bob Blumenfield
“We live in a world where success is increasingly tied to the ability to access information,” said Blumenfield, chair of the Council’s Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee. “Los Angeles has already made great strides toward enhancing government openness through technology, from live simulcasting of Council Meetings to the MyLa311 mobile application. Providing universal access to the Internet is a natural and necessary extension of these efforts.”

Currently, Wi-Fi services are offered at libraries across L.A. and a program like this would make L.A. the largest city to provide a universal Wi-Fi service. Houston, Minneapolis, Riverside and San Jose are some cities that already have successful free citywide Wi-Fi.

The motion would call the City’s Information Technology Agency to report recommendations on the free citywide Wi-Fi initiative to the Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee.

“The benefits of wireless Internet access across the city are numerous, from reducing startup costs for new businesses to ensuring that every student is able to access essential tools for learning,” said Blumenfield. “Finding new ways to bridge the digital divide by expanding our virtual infrastructure is crucial as we look to ensure our city’s continued competitiveness in a rapidly globalizing world.”

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