South Bay City Officials Asked L.A. Metro for $4.4 Million to Get High-Speed Internet

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A Los Angeles metro bus is seen in an undated photo. (Los Angeles Times)

A Los Angeles metro bus is seen in an undated photo. (Los Angeles Times)

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When officials in the South Bay wanted to build a network to provide high-speed internet to local government buildings, they asked for money from what seemed an unexpected source: transportation officials.

A coalition of 16 cities, including Carson and Torrance, pitched the fiber-optic cable ring as one way to improve congestion by allowing government employees to telecommute and by helping to synchronize traffic lights.

The $4.4-million proposal has raised the ire of business groups and transit advocates, who say broadband internet should not qualify for funding through Measure M, the sales tax increase for transportation projects.

Critics are demanding that Metropolitan Transportation Authority directors delay a decision or withhold funding from the project at their Thursday meeting.

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