The City of Los Angeles is addressing the issue of the digital divide and lack of high-speed internet access, particularly in low-income communities and among people of color. It is leveraging federal grant funds to build fiber conduits and install “dark” fiber, making it easier for internet service providers to provide free or affordable high-speed broadband service in underserved communities. However, the operation and management of this infrastructure is a new role for the City.

The City is partnering with FUSE to develop the organizational capacity to execute a municipal connectivity infrastructure business plan. FUSE Executive Fellow Angelica Hernandez will work with decision-makers to develop the roles and systems required for this plan, establishing a foundation for equitable home broadband for all Angelenos. The project aims to develop the organizational capacity for the Bureau of Street Lighting (BSL) to carry out a business plan that maximizes the value of public communications infrastructure for underserved communities. Angelica will collaborate with stakeholders and the consulting firm hired to develop the business plan, consider various entities’ timelines, funding sources, and operational responsibilities, and develop job descriptions, roles, systems, and governance bodies. The key deliverables will include an organizational capabilities plan, a budget proposal, and launching the business plan. The project also aims to ensure equitable digital access and will involve marketing and community engagement efforts, digital navigators, and ongoing progress tracking systems.