Meeting Date: 10/28/15 06:30 PM
Meeting Type: Regular
Location: Durant Library, 7140 Sunset Blvd.
October 28, 2015, 6:30 pm
The meeting was held at the Durant Library, 7140 Sunset Blvd..
The meeting was called to order at 6:40 pm.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss CityLinkLA, an initiative which aims to bring high-speed internet acces to all residents. RFPs have been issued inviting tech companies to create proposals for offering high-speed access in exhange for the use of City assets.
Due to the small number of attendees, the meeting was informal and discussion ranged freely over several topics.
It was noted that public awareness of CityLinkLA is minimal, almost non-existent. The point was made that the lack of public input could lead to a poorly implemented program with little or no oversight.
One attendee owns a post-production company and shared his experiences getting the DWP to lay a high-speed cable connection to his office. It was a long and costly process, but the benefits are significant.
All agreed that the benefit of offering high-speed access to residents would be enormous.
In addition, the ability to offer high-speed connections to businesses would give LA a tremendous competitive advantage.
Other cities are already pursuing programs to offer universal access. In Chattanooga, the city has already created a high-speed network which has been very successful. The network was built and is maintained by a public utility. A few years ago Austin announced that Google would be creating a network to offer universal access, but progress has been slow and access is currently limited.
There was discussion of the pros and cons of using private companies and public utilities to accomplish the goal of universal access. It was agreed that both had advantages and disadvantages. Private companies can proceed more quickly, without bureaucratic or political interference. However, because they're motivated by profit, their promises to offer access to all residents may be suspect. With public utilities there is more oversight and citizens have more control, but this can also cause delays. The point was also made that technology changes rapidly, and a public utility might not have the resources to upgrade as technology evolved.
In general, the speed with which technology evolves creates a problem for a program of this kind. In a best case scenario a system offering universal access would take years to install, and the possibility exists that it would be outdated by the time it was finished.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 pm.