West Coast, baby. The cradle of the Internet. Home of the high-tech.
Yet, in Los Angeles, we have some of the most craptacular Internet service in the developed world. And, yes, craptacular is a technical term.
A report last year from New America's Open Technology Institute found that L.A.'s slow Internet speeds (and high prices) lagged way behind the velocity and value found in places like Seoul, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
This week Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that Google Fiber is exploring whether to bring its state-of-the-art Internet service to Los Angeles. At the same time, AT&T is introducing its higher-speed GigaPower fiber-optic broadband service to our city, Garcetti said.
This could bring us up to speed.
“These plans have the potential to offer affordable Internet connectivity that is 20 to 200 times faster than what is currently available to residences and small to medium-sized businesses in L.A. — which would be the nation’s largest market to date for both services,” the Mayor's Office said in a statement.
Garcetti's office says it has engaged in “initial discussions” with Google about construction and planning. The tech giant also is looking at expanding its Fiber service to Chicago.
“In L.A., faster Internet may mean that indie musicians and YouTube stars can spend less time worrying about bandwidth and more time creating their next project,” said Jill Szuchmacher, director of Google Fiber Expansion. “While we can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to bring Fiber to Chicago and L.A., this is a big step for these cities and their leaders.”
AT&T's GigaPower service, at 1 gigabit speed, is available locally now.
“Expanding, improving and strengthening Internet access throughout Los Angeles is vital to further accelerating L.A.’s economic growth — and affordable service is essential to erasing a digital divide that leaves too many people without the tools to maximize potential in the 21st century,” Garcetti said. “When companies like Google and AT&T invest in our communities, it shows that L.A. is determined to be America’s most connected city, and will continue leading the world in innovation and creativity.”