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Will LA Ever Have Citywide Wi-Fi?

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Mayor Tony stood before a media gaggle at 7th & Fig in February and announced the birth of "LA Version 2.0." Free citywide Wi-Fi for all within two years, he proclaimed, momentarily appeasing critics and activists who have called for municipal funds and programs to help bridge the digital divide.

But the skeptics among us are well aware of the extensive headaches and limited progress of the once-supposed trailblazing municipal Wi-Fi proposals in Philadelphia and San Francisco.

After winning bids to build out WiFi networks for Philly, Anaheim, Atlanta and elsewhere, Earthlink recently broke down and concluded that free and inexpensive Wi-Fi is a losing proposition. Soon after, Chicago scrapped its ambitious plans, and though Earthlink is still promising build-outs for Anaheim and Houston, the company has already forfeited millions, and last month laid off nearly half of its employees.

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Los Angeles has not yet thrown in the towel, and in June hired Civitium, a top municipal wireless strategy firm, to consult on the project.

Now, the LA City Wi-Fi Initiative and Civitium want to hear from you.

More details, a map of LA-area hotspots, and a list of local muni Wi-Fi projects after the jump.

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