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“By giving every resident high-speed access, we will transform Los Angeles into a cutting-edge city across every neighborhood and every economic sector,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “LA WiFi will help us meet the technology needs of our world-class media and creative industries, give a leg up to small businesses, plug every neighborhood directly into the knowledge-based global economy, and make computer training programs for students an after-school reality.”

The first step of LA WiFi initiative, which was announced today, is to hire a technology expert who will join a city team to structure a proposal to attract and engage the private sector. The working team will consider several issues, including adopting best business model for Los Angeles’ needs, ensuring community participation in the network’s planning (keep your eye on this Neighborhood Councils), and honing the network’s ability to improve city services. Once negotiations with the private sector are complete, the construction of the network’s infrastructure will begin. It is estimated that construction of the network would begin in mid 2008 with completion of the citywide network by 2009 (now that's fast in government years!).

The city could use the network to enhance the delivery of city services by transmitting data between police patrol cars, have emergency "field" offices during a major earthquake, instantaneously sending the location of potholes or forwarding on-site building inspection reports to speed up the building process.

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