The plan to bring free broadband internet to the people of Los Angeles soldiers on as the deadline for requests for information has passed, reports Ars Technica. Los Angeles is looking for a provider to install a citywide fiber network with access at every building in town, plus free hotspots in places like city parks. The first request was mostly just for input that would shape a forthcoming formal request for proposals, but of the many responses came two from parties (one known but terrible, one unknown) who are making it clear even at this early stage that they have wildly bold plans to pump LA full of fiber internet. One of the responses was from a Dutch company named Angie Communications which, despite claims that they are totally going to build networks in places like San Jose and France, doesn't appear to have built anything on this scale (or at all) yet. Deeply confident, they say that they can give LA the broadband network it wants—"including the backbone, the metro and street access infrastructure"—in five years. Unfortunately, they have only a very small fraction of the money they'd need to do it at present, and they don't like one of the key terms of the eventual deal to build the network, which stipulates that whoever builds the network will have to allow other providers to use the infrastructure—for a price. Angie isn't interested in sharing at all.
The notoriously-awful Time Warner Cable also responded; it's switched its position on high-speed internet from "You know, not everyone needs fiber internet" to "We'd love to help, please don't take our money away!" now that LA's gotten serious about getting a broadband network that would be better than what TWC's currently got to offer. According to a press release from this past Friday, TWC's invested over a billion in developing their network in LA (part of something called "TWC Maxx" that's already serving LA and beyond) and is in possession of "new 'Gigasphere' technology," which they expect will make them "able to introduce gigabit-per-second speeds in 2016."
LA's chief technology officer says the city isn't going to share the details of any of the responses until the Request for Proposals has been sent out and a contract or contracts are offered, but it's unclear when those things will happen.
· Startup claims it will build fiber network in LA and wireless throughout US [AT]
· Surprise: TWC wants to build a 1Gbps fiber network after Los Angeles threatens to build its own [BGR]
· Here's How LA's Citywide Free Internet Plan Would Work [Curbed LA]