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Common councilors add their voice to high-speed internet push in Syracuse

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Syracuse common councilors are adding their voice to the ongoing fight for better internet access to the City of Syracuse.

Lawmakers unanimously agreed to a resolution that encourages Verizon to apply to the Public Service Commission for a franchise agreement that would establish FiOS internet and cable service inside city limits. Right now the fiber optic system is only available in select Syracuse suburbs.

Council President Helen Hudson says that’s not right.

“It is unfair to citizens of all inner cities," said Hudson, "that they get into suburban areas, and right at the line they stop.”

Hudson says the council action is meant to bolster state legislators as they try to move ahead in expanding high-speed Internet in inner cities and rural areas across the state.

Syracuse-area State Sen. Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) believes speaking in one voice can only help.

"We will show a unified front to corporate Verizon and remind them that we’re anxious to work cooperatively with them, and make sure we can deliver on that,” Valesky said.

This comes on the heels of the creation of the Alliance for Reliable, Competitive High-speed Internet (ARCH) earlier this year, that’s trying to raise awareness of the problems of a lack of high-speed Internet in the city.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has also recently said the city is looking into the idea of building a city-owned fiber-optic network.

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.