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L.A. Takes Another Step Towards Free Citywide Internet

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The City hopes to have the program rolled out in 5 years (Photo by Paul Michael Hughes via Shutterstock)
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Los Angeles is taking one more step towards providing the city with free Internet. The City Council voted yesterday to begin soliciting bids from potential service providers with an end goal of offering a super fast, one gigabit broadband service to both homes and businesses, plus free, basic WiFi in targeted areas. The City wants this implemented within the next five years, CBS LA reports.

The CityLinkLA initiative is headed by Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who says in a post on his site that "in today's digital age, Internet access is a necessity, not a luxury."

Currently, Bluemfield says 30 percent of L.A. households lack access to the Internet, which can hinder them when trying to score a job, go to school and accomplish other everyday tasks.

Citywide Internet has been a topic of interest in L.A. for a while now, with the City voting to develop a proposal for providers in 2013.

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In exchange for their service, the winning provider would be able to fastback permits when looking to install infrastructure and would receive deals on leasing city assets, such as street lights where WiFi hardware could be installed and city-owned buildings.

Officials also believe that this move could decrease Internet prices across the board, as other services providers would be motivated to compete with CityLinkLA.

The City will be accepting proposals until November 12.