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Syracuse residents say internet too expensive, undependable

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office

The Public Service Commission comes to Syracuse this summer to find out what internet and cable access is like for residents of the city.  And there won’t be many positives to take away, if they hear the same thing residents are telling Mayor Stephanie Miner.

Miner says telecommunications access in Syracuse is not dependable and too expensive.

"I have heard over and over again, and I’ve experienced it myself, that our telecommunications access, our internet access, is not dependable and it’s too expensive,” said Miner.

Miner is a member of the Connect New York Coalition, which has been pushing the PSC on this issue. 

The coalition says the telephone infrastructure is headed toward collapse, and the situation is especially dire upstate, where few companies are vying for business.

Miner says in Syracuse, there is virtually no competition for internet services, and Verizon has refused to build out a fiber optic network in the city.  That means higher costs for businesses and residents at a time when access to the internet has become not a want, but a need.

“The internet and broadband is going to be the new oil of the 21st century,” said Miner.

The PSC has been working for the last year on a comprehensive review the telecom industry.  The hearing is set for the evening of August 6 at City Hall.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.