LA City Council approves police sites for new LA-RICS LTE plan, expects NTIA approval
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LA City Council approves police sites for new LA-RICS LTE plan, expects NTIA approvalï»¿
On April 1, the LA City Council voted to halt construction of the LA-RICS LTE project at city-owned sites after receiving outspoken opposition from representatives of the firefighters union and the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL)—the local police union. Yesterday, LAPPL Director Peter Repovich thanked Englander for working “very closely” with the union “to address all of our concerns” on the item and expressed support for LTE project proceeding, with a caveat.
“We want to go on record that we support this motion,” Repovich said during the meeting. “However, if LA-RICS fails to live up to the spirit of the motion, then we’ll be forced to oppose this.
“In addition, we want to ensure that this system is viable. If the [LA-RICS] joint powers authority cannot complete this project in a timely manner, as outlined in the corrective action plan, then we will be opposed.”
Multiple speakers during the meeting expressed frustration that the LA-RICS item was not included on the City Council’s agenda and that no supporting documentation for the item was available. Englander said that U.S. Department of Commerce officials informed the city late Thursday that the LA City Council needed to take action “by Monday,” so NTIA could include the stance as it makes its decision whether to lift its suspension.
NTIA administers the $154.6 million federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant that is funding most of the proposed LA-RICS public-safety LTE network. Current law requires that BTOP funds be utilized by Sept. 30, meaning the deadline can be changed only by an act of Congress, according to an NTIA spokeswoman.
With this in mind, Los Angeles-area representatives are scheduled to travel next week to Washington, D.C., where they will meet with federal lawmakers and officials to determine whether there is any way to give LA-RICS additional time to complete its project.