The Los Angeles Time found no internet connectivity in 24 public locations, despite a three-year, $500, 000 grant to provide them with free Wi-Fi service. Investigations both last year and again in March found that none of the 18+ locations checked were able to successfully connect to the internet, prompting a PUC investigation that confirmed only two of the hotspots were working. The grant was part of a $315 million state-wide program using surcharges on utility bills to promote high-quality communication services, though in Los Angeles most of the money for “underserved” areas was being directed to outreach and education. The Wi-Fi company’s executive director said maintaining their networks had proved to be difficult, though one economist argued it would’ve been more productive to give net-access subsidies directly to the poor, a program the FCC recently voted to expand. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Free Wi-Fi Program in Los Angeles Fails to Provide Free Wi-Fi