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Los Angeles Wants Ideas on Combined Gigabit Fiber and Free Wi-Fi Network

City may link community broadband project with huge IT privatization plan.

by / April 2, 2014

The city of Los Angeles will release an RFI as early as this week seeking industry input on a combined gigabit fiber and free WiFi network, according to CIO Steve Reneker.

The request for information, which Reneker expects to release around April 5, is a precursor to an RFP for project known as the Los Angeles Community Broadband Network (LACBN). The project envisions ultra-fast fiber connections to homes and businesses to drive economic development, and slower free wireless Internet access to help close the city’s digital divide.
Among other things, Reneker wants to gauge vendor interest in combining the LACBN project with a larger effort to privatize key pieces of city IT infrastructure, which could be worth $1 billion over the next 10 years. “We want to make sure that there’s a component that will entice someone to bid on [the LACBN project],” Reneker said in an interview at Government Technology’s Beyond the Beltway conference in late March. 
The privatization initiative would target L.A.’s aging data center and data networks, and may include other related services, Reneker said.
“Those are our mission-critical areas, and they’re the pain points for our departments,” he said. “We’ll be going to our City Council in April or May to make some recommendations on privatizing certain services or maybe all of it collectively.” 
Reneker talks more about the LACBN project in the accompanying video.

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Steve Towns

Steve Towns is the former editor of Government Technology, and former executive editor for e.Republic Inc., publisher of GOVERNING, Government TechnologyPublic CIO and Emergency Management magazines. He has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at newspapers and magazines, including more than 15 years of covering technology in the state and local government market. Steve now serves as the Deputy Chief Content Officer for e.Republic. 

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