The Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting (BSL), with a rich history of innovation, has played a pivotal role in making Los Angeles a pioneering 5G city. In response to the growing digital divide, especially in under-connected communities like Crenshaw Boulevard, BSL is leveraging funds from the American Rescue Plan to address internet access disparities. The project aims to install shared-access, fiber-optic-capable infrastructure on up to 200,000 street light poles, supported by a wireless network and a dedicated data center. The initiative seeks to provide free public Wi-Fi, enhance smart-city services, and bridge the digital gap in historically underserved areas.

The BSL plans to expand its in-house network management and operations capacity in collaboration with FUSE. Starting in April 2024, FUSE Executive Fellow Lawrence Ebo will focus on transitioning from infrastructure construction to piloting network operations and management. Through research, a listening tour, and stakeholder engagement, Ebo will formulate detailed recommendations and a strategic plan rooted in principles of social justice. By April 2025, Ebo aims to conduct a successful pilot phase, create a budget that explores revenue opportunities, and present a strategic plan for scaling communication network management beyond the initial stage, ensuring increased connectivity access and affordability across Los Angeles. Key stakeholders include Executive Director Miguel Sangalang and Project Supervisor Dan Caroselli from the Bureau of Street Lighting.