Los Angeles announces city-wide Wi-Fi network plan: The plan is in its infancy, with step one listed as "hire expert to figure out how to get network built." Or, rather, in the actual press release, "hire a technology expert who will join a city team to structure a proposal to attract and engage the private sector." Or what I said. The goal would be build-out starting in 2008, completion in 2009. The city occupies 470 square miles and has 4m residents. The release includes mentions of business, municipal, and public safety purposes, in addition to basic Internet access for residents. Bragging rights are mentioned--largest in terms of area plus residents. Houston's deal with EarthLink, announced today, would provide a larger area (600 sq mi), but only 2m residents covered. [link via MuniWireless]
As expected, Palo Alto joins San Carlos as the second of two test sites for the vast network project: The city council approved a four-month test in Palo Alto.
As I use my EVDO access more and more, I have a hard time understanding why this network is needed in Los Angeles where high speed wireless Internet is already available throughout the city from at least two cellular carriers. I don't believe there is a neighborhood anywhere in Los Angeles that does not have access to multiple DSL providers (many very inexpensive) and cable Internet. Los Angeles is a very big place geographically, this will be a very costly project (to say the least).