LA to go Wi-Fi

2009 deployment would likely be country's largest Wi-Fi network, with special emphasis on business benefits to entertainment.

Los Angeles will deploy a city-wide Wi-Fi network, likely to be the largest in the country, Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa announced on Tuesday, MuniWireless reports.

"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 city will hire a technology expert to structure public-private cooperation in building the network. According to a press release:

The working team will consider several issues, including adopting best business model for Los Angeles' needs, ensuring community participation in the network's planning, and honing the network's ability to improve city services.

MuniWireless writes:

What I found most intriguing in the announcement was the extent to which it focused on how the network could serve the entertainment industry that is so vital to the city’s economy. According to the release “Wireless internet ... means providing integral, high-speed solutions for entertainment companies to juggle simultaneous projects in real-time at lower cost with reliable teleconferencing, for example.”