Announcements underline L.A.’s commitment to being America’s most connected — and innovative — city.
Mayor Eric Garcetti announced today that Google Fiber, a unit of Alphabet Inc., will explore L.A. as the next market for Google Fiber’s high-speed Internet service. The announcement follows the unveiling of AT&T’s plan to introduce its GigaPower fiber optic broadband service to the city. These announcements respond to continuing demand from residents and businesses for high-speed connectivity to the Internet.
These plans have the potential to offer affordable Internet connectivity that is 20-200 times faster than what is currently available to residences and small to medium-sized businesses in L.A. — which would be the nation’s largest market to date for both services.
“Expanding, improving and strengthening Internet access throughout Los Angeles is vital to further accelerating L.A.’s economic growth — and affordable service is essential to erasing a digital divide that leaves too many people without the tools to maximize potential in the 21st century,” said Mayor Garcetti. “When companies like Google and AT&T invest in our communities, it shows that L.A. is determined to be America’s most connected city, and will continue leading the world in innovation and creativity.”
The City and Google Fiber have already engaged in initial discussions about construction, planning and coordination. Over the next several months, the company’s engineering team will study local factors that could shape development of a new fiber-optic network in Los Angeles.
AT&T’s 1Gbps GigaPower fiber optic broadband service is available today to more than 1 million locations across the United States, which the company expects to more than double in 2016. Los Angeles is AT&T’s largest broadband market in the nation.
“Groundbreaking investment in our city's virtual infrastructure from private sector partners at AT&T and Google Fiber will complement CityLinkLA: the joint effort between Mayor Eric Garcetti and me to make Los Angeles the most connected city in the nation. Access to high-speed Internet is essential to the City’s future economic competitiveness, and will drive Los Angeles’ entertainment, tech, and entrepreneurial activity,” said City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield. “We welcome AT&T GigaPower and Google Fiber to Los Angeles, and look forward to continuing to push Los Angeles to become the world’s premier gigabit city.”
This week’s announcements build on existing efforts to expand high-speed Internet access across the city. This includes bringing WiFi connectivity to Metro Rail lines and bus stops, and launching CityLinkLA, an initiative aimed at giving every residence and business in Los Angeles the improved Internet access needed to thrive in today’s economy.
The CityLinkLA RFP is currently evaluating proposals for participation to lease city assets and faster permitting services to communications providers. Already, the City has seen a marked improvement of Internet speeds reported by Ookla, a broadband speed testing company based in Seattle, in the last year — whether delivered to users by wireless or wired service providers.
L.A. recently launched the first commercial deployment of LTE small-cell-enabled streetlight poles that will improve cellular connectivity on city streets. In addition, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) recently upgraded Wi-Fi at LAX. Los Angeles has also been chosen as participant in President Obama’s #ConnectHome initiative, which will connect more than 275,000 low-income households across the country to high-speed broadband at affordable rates.