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L.A. County is Offering Internet Service for Low-Income Residents

Elgin Nelson

Los Angeles County is initiating a high-speed broadband initiative aimed at serving communities in South L.A., East L.A., and Boyle Heights, with certain plans priced as low as $25 a month. This forthcoming service, expected to launch later this year, will operate through a model known as Community Broadband Networks, a fusion of public and private partnerships.

This effort addresses the digital divide, noting that around 416,000 households in the county currently lack access to broadband, with a significant impact on poorer communities and those predominantly composed of Black and Latinx residents.

Community Broadband Networks will rely potentially on landlines and/or radio links, leveraging equipment mounted to public buildings, streetlights, and other community real estate assets to deliver high-speed connections to households or other end users who are equipped to receive the signal.

The broadband service will deliver high-speed, fixed wireless access, offering speeds of up to 2 gigabits per second. Standard pricing begins at $65 for 500 Mbps and can go up to $85 for 2-gigabit speeds, as reported by LAist.

However, lower-income families may qualify for reduced rates, from $25 for 500 Mbps to $45 for 2 gigs, with eligibility hinging on a household income below 200% of the federal poverty line or participation in government assistance programs such as SNAP or Medicaid.

All service plans include unlimited data without the need for a contract, and even the most economical offering will support high-quality video streaming across several devices.

Although initially available in selected cities, plans are in place to extend the service, with costs potentially varying based on local partnership arrangements.

The announcement arrives as a crucial government program offering a $30 monthly internet service discount is running out of funds, with its remaining balance expected to aid households with a partial subsidy in May until it is fully exhausted.

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