New Orleans Looks at Wi-Fi to Help Connect Residents

City Hall is seeking a firm that can bring free public Wi-Fi and “smart city” technologies to New Orleans as officials seek to bridge gaps in internet access for some residents.

City officials said Friday they are seeking bids from companies that can bring wireless internet access at no cost to taxpayers. The city will welcome proposals over the next 30 days and choose a firm to provide the service soon after that.

The end goal is to help close digital deficits in neighborhoods that have little or no access to the Internet and to use smart city technologies to improve city services for residents, officials said.

Smart city technologies include automated street lights, synchronized traffic signals for better traffic flow, advanced water meters and gunshot detection sensors, among others.