Los Angeles hopes to attract AT&T, others with its FTTH network proposal

Los Angeles is joining the municipal 1 Gbps fiber to the home (FTTH) trend with the goal of attracting a large service provider like AT&T (NYSE: T) to run a network that will serve both residents and businesses, reports ars technica.

Steve Reneker, Los Angeles Information Technology Agency general manager, told ars technica it plans to put out an RFP (request for proposal) "that would require fiber to be run to every residence, every business, and every government entity within the city limits of Los Angeles."

The city has forecast that the cost of this ambitious FTTH project would be in the range of $3-$5 billion. However, it added that the winning bidder would have to pay for associated costs such as permits and inspections related to installing fiber in the city.

Potential bidders could include the city's major telcos and cable MSOs such as AT&T, Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), Cox, and Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR). As an open access network, any potential winner would have to offer equal access to other competitors that want to deliver services over the fiber network.

While it did not reveal specific pricing, residents and businesses would be able to access free 2-5 Mbps of free Internet access and a series of speed tiers that will scale up to 1 Gbps. This network would also be used to power its public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Reneker said that while the winning bidder does not have to provide phone and video service, he thinks they would offer a triple play bundle to "justify the buildout."

One business application that would be a good fit for this network is data center hosting. A large telco or cable MSO could provide fiber-based connectivity to the 24 distributed data centers that reside in the side to provide disaster recovery and replication services to local businesses.

However, one player they would not consider is Google Fiber (Nasdaq: GOOG) due to its focus on providing service to residential customers. The city wants a provider that can also serve a mix of businesses and residents.

For more:
- arstechnica has this article

Editor's Corner: Has Google Fiber set the pace for 1 Gig FTTH pricing?

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