Los Angeles aims big with city wide Gigabit roll-out
Los Angeles is either going to be a large US city with Gigabit available across it, or it will be mired in court room battles as commercial operators attempt to protect their position.
Los Angeles has is looking for bids to develop a city wide fibre to the premises network for both homes and businesses that would be available on a wholesale basis and would provide a basic free service (2 Mbps to 5 Mbps) to ensure social inclusion and then have tiers leading all the way to 1 Gbps speeds. The network would also be used to underpin public Wi-Fi and other municipal connectivity projects. Unlike in the UK, there will be no public money invested in the operation, the city is expecting the network to cost $3 billion to $5 billion to build and at this time there will be no freebies associated with permits (planning permission) and inspection costs.
As cities across the US start the race to compete with each other, it is likely that this will start to repeat more often, and part of this may be the Google effect in Kansas City, which regularly features as a good example for attracting hip start-ups to an area. Though the Google Fiber operation in Kansas City is tight lipped about the actual number of live connections, but estimates suggest less than 2,000 in the first year. What is also odd with a lot of the Google Fiber coverage is how there is so much talk of business when in Kansas City the project was aimed at the residential market only.
At this point we can expect the 'woe is the UK' handwringing to take place, but while the biggest names are not deploying Gigabit in the UK, there is a growing number of locations where it is available from apartments in London and in the case of Hyperoptic who are proud of their over 20% take-up figures it is likely they have more customers than Google Fiber.