The other news yesterday was an RFP from the City Council in Los Angeles, following up on some earlier intentions. Basically, they’re looking for a few good network operators to build them an FTTH network similar to what they’re seeing Google Fiber and municipal efforts like in Chattanooga are doing.
Los Angeles is offering streamlined permit processes, bulk rate prices for access to existing fiber, storm drains, lamp posts, and other assets that might help. All they need now is to find network operators willing to drop a total of $3-5B across four quadrants of the city, because they aren’t going to chip in actual tax money. Oh, and there should be a free tier and a city-wide WiFi network too.
Infrastructure in the Los Angeles metro area is a bit of a patchwork, with no ILEC or cable operator completely dominating the landscape. But the one they are clearly trying to lure in is AT&T, which is building out in Austin and supposedly working on a set of other cities as well. Whether AT&T has any intention of taking the bait is another matter of course.
FTTH projects in the US right now are in the cherry picking stage. Verizon’s got its basket full and doesn’t want more. Google Fiber is picking as fast as it can, but isn’t looking LA’s way. AT&T has just the one cherry partly picked, but has a few trees staked out and would just prefer that everyone stay away from them. Various muni-fiber and independent service provider efforts are picking their own cherry trees quite happily, but have no interest in those not in their own yard. And the cable guys are plenty happy selling canned HFC cherries in any market that doesn’t have fiber on the way yet.
So LA, I wish you luck. But I suspect you’ll have to sweeten the pot before this is over…
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