City Takes Important Step Towards Implementation of Blumenfield's Citywide WiFi Initiative

Information Technology Agency announces intention to open Community Broadband RFP alongside proposals for e-mail and desktop applications.

LOS ANGELES – Following direction from Councilmember Bob Blumenfied, who last month introduced a measure to explore the feasibility of free citywide WiFi, the City’s Information Technology Agency (ITA) today announced its intention to open the RFP for broadband and WiFi access concurrent with upcoming RFPs for e-mail and desktop applications as early as this October.

The announcement was made during testimony from ITA officials at today’s meeting of the Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee, which Blumenfield chairs.

“By all accounts, we're moving at breakneck speed,” said Blumenfield. “This is clear progress towards making WiFi a reality. I am pleased to see swift action from ITA and look forward to hearing from our partners in the tech community about their proposals for the best way to approach this challenge.”

By accepting proposals for broadband concurrent with those for e-mail and desktop applications the City can incentivize bidders interested in doing business with the City to provide the best possible deal for taxpayers.

At a meeting of the Innovation, Technology and General Services Committee earlier this month, the Committee discussed Councilmember Blumenfield’s WiFi initiative and directed ITA to report back with quantifiable information regarding the benefits of municipal WiFi and what other cities have done. Los Angeles already has approximately 3,500 wireless hotspots throughout the City.

In addition to providing residents and businesses with universal wireless internet access, municipal WiFi will have tangible benefits towards the efficient delivery of City services.

The current email platform contract expires November 20, 2014. RFPs for the next contract period will be due by October 11, 2013. ITA intends to solicit broadband proposals at or near that date.

When completed, Los Angeles would be the largest city in the United States with free universal access to WiFi.


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