About

What is CityLinkLA?

In today’s digital age, affordable high-speed Internet is a necessity. Basic access should be available to all, regardless of income or neighborhood. As many as 30 percent of City of Los Angeles residents do not have access to high-speed Internet while many businesses and residents pay higher prices for slower speeds when compared to other global cities.

CityLinkLA is an initiative designed to address both the digital divide and our virtual competitiveness. Launched in 2014 by Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, CityLinkLA is an effort to encourage the private sector to deploy advanced wireline and Wi-Fi digital communications networks so that every residence and business in Los Angeles has access to world-class, high-speed Internet and at prices comparable to those in other innovative communities around the world. The goal is to provide basic access to all for free or at a very low cost and gigabit (1 Gbps) or higher speed access at competitive rates. CityLinkLA is envisioned to include wired gigabit access to every home and business and as close to ubiquitous wireless coverage for the entire City as possible.

Other cities across the nation and globe are working rapidly to ensure that their communities are served by advanced communications networks, some building their own fiber systems and others working with private broadband providers. Here in Los Angeles, City leaders are focusing on a unique public-private partnership as they strive to encourage deployment of affordable, privately-financed and privately-owned broadband systems at 1 Gbps speeds or higher. CityLinkLA allows private companies to take advantage of select City assets and infrastructure in exchange for participating in the initiative. This provision is at the heart of the partnership.

Universal access to high-speed Internet is essential to the City’s progress, and will drive Los Angeles’ entertainment, tech and entrepreneurial activity into the economy of the future. In addition to economic benefits, the City’s education, health care and public safety sectors will directly benefit from the implementation of a citywide high-speed network, ultimately ensuring a safer and more secure future for the City of Los Angeles and its residents.

Our Goals:

  • Ensure residences and businesses in the City of Los Angeles have access to a fast, affordable and reliable broadband internet network.
  • Eliminate barriers to access in order to bridge the City’s digital divide by providing free basic wireless service to all and reduced wired service to the underserved.
  • Establish an essential investment in Los Angeles’ leadership role in the digital economy.
  • Ensure universal access to information and technology to stimulate employment and improve education, health care and public safety throughout the City.

FAQs

  • What is CityLinkLA?

    CityLinkLA (formerly called Los Angeles Community Broadband Network) is the name of the initiative launched by Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Bob Blumenfield to encourage deployment of advanced affordable high-speed broadband wireline and Wi-Fi networks throughout the City of Los Angeles. We want to be sure Los Angeles residents have the next-generation connectivity to the Internet required to succeed.

  • Isn’t high-speed Internet already available in Los Angeles?

    Many residents and businesses in the City of Los Angeles do have access to high-speed Internet services, but it is estimated that as many as 30 percent of Angelenos either do not have access to service or cannot afford it.  Many residents may be dependent on Internet access provided through smartphones or other devices that do not provide the connectivity or levels of access required to fully participate in the digital world.

  • Why is high-speed broadband important to Los Angeles?

    As seen in other cities where it is available, advanced broadband networks offering high-speed access to the Internet can have a dramatic impact on quality of life within communities providing advancements in e-learning, workforce development, commerce and telemedicine. The availability of affordable, high-speed networks can drive job creation, promote innovation, expand markets for businesses, and support improved education, health care and public safety.

  • Who is involved in CityLinkLA?

    The initiative is a community effort. CityLinkLA charts a vision to access for all through active participation of both the public and private sectors to make high-speed, high-quality, affordable Internet a reality. Last year, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilmember Bob Blumenfield called for responses from industry and the community to help provide input. Today, business and community leaders across Los Angeles are answering the call and fully engaged in this initiative.

  • Will the City of Los Angeles be paying to build the network?

    No, the private sector is being asked to invest in advanced networks in the City. The City will offer considerable and valuable assets and services to leverage such an investment.

  • How will the new communication networks be built?

    We recognize that it is not simple to build out broadband infrastructure throughout the City. Like many cities across America, we are exploring ways to bring high-speed Internet services to our communities. There are three basic approaches to deploying broadband: 1) municipalities build or finance the system 2) an approach in which a new entrant builds the system based on measured demand and 3) cities work with existing providers to expand and upgrade existing networks. Here in Los Angeles, we are currently pursuing a new model based on a public-private partnership where the City induces private investment and community benefits by offering access to existing public resources.

  • Will the fiber & Wi-Fi available to every facility & space in Los Angeles?

    That will depend on the ultimate design of the networks, but that is the general goal, at least with respect to developed areas where installation is not infeasible for environmental or other reasons. Outdoor Wi-Fi coverage is also a goal of CityLinkLA and will be dependent on available technology and responses from the interested providers.

  • How will CityLinkLA address the digital divide in Los Angeles and what will be offered for free?

    As part of the RFP, and in return for granting access to City properties CityLinkLA will ask respondents to submit a digital inclusion plan that includes free wireless services, and may include a reduced rate for wired services. CityLinkLA establishes a goal for every Angeleno to be able to take full advantage of the Internet’s capabilities.

  • How much will high-speed broadband cost?

    In some cities across the nation and globally, public or privately-owned companies are providing broadband access at speeds 20 times faster than here in Los Angeles and at a more competitive rate, as low as $70 a month for one gigabit Internet access (Chattanooga, TN). We anticipate that bidders will be asked to make some pricing commitments through the bidding process, both as to monthly fees and installation charges.

  • How fast will the new network be?

    For residential users, speeds to each subscriber of one gigabit per second is the initial target. But the goal is to encourage development of networks that can offer advanced services into the future, so that Los Angeles residences and businesses are in the vanguard of the digital world. Faster services are rolling out regularly – the City needs an infrastructure that can keep pace with technological change.

  • How fast is Internet connection in Los Angeles now?

    Connection speed varies greatly depending on the technology used to connect to the Internet and the service provided to the location from which it’s being accessed. According to OOKLA, a source of global Internet metrics, Los Angeles’ average connection speed is about 46 Mbps, which is nearly double the average speed one year ago, but still only places Los Angeles 115th among nearly 500 cities tested.

  • How can I find out the speed of my Internet connection?

    According to a national survey, most people don’t know what speed they are paying for, or what they are getting compared to what the broadband provider claims to offer. Online tools are available on sites like Speedtest.net to test download and upload speeds for a device. The results of speed tests will vary by time of day and the number of devices using the connection.

  • Will the network be secured?

    This will depend on the services the winning bidder chooses to offer over time. Internet communications are inherently insecure, but to the extent the network is an open network, users should be able to have secure Internet communications just as they do on many existing networks.