Los Angeles residents could be getting free wireless Internet in the next few years. City mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has announced a wireless initiative that would partner the city up with a private provider and give Wi-Fi by 2009. Bidding for the private provider position would start in early fall.
The mayor didn’t address any specifics about antenna placement, protocols or speeds, but presumably the antennas could be placed on top of light poles which are owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Los Angeles already has limited wi-fi in downtown Pershing Square and in Van Nuys, but this would be the first serious attempt to completely blanket LA’s 498 square miles. Culver City, a bordering city in the Westside, already has free wireless in the downtown restaurant and business district.