Syracuse wants to bypass Verizon, TWC with its own fiber broadband network

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Syracuse, N.Y., is tired of waiting for its two local service providers Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) to give it better broadband service so Mayor Stephanie Miner is investigating how the city could build its own fiber-based broadband network.

Miner told Syracuse ABC television affiliate WSYR-TV that high-speed Internet is "the modern day equivalent of infrastructure," adding: "It's clear that broadband is going to be a foundation of our new economy."

However, questions remain about how taxpayers would pay to fund a fiber deployment.

While Miner and her team are just in the investigation phase, she said that they would like to be able to provide up to 1 Gbps speeds like Chattanooga's EPB provides to residential and business customers today.

Verizon has been holding fast to its contention that it will not expand its fiber to the premises (FTTP)-based FiOS service into any new areas.

"As far as FiOS expansion is concerned, Verizon is presently focusing its resources on meeting its franchise obligations to those municipalities where it currently provides cable television service and has no plans to expand FiOS in New York," Verizon said in a statement released to WSYR-TV.

The telco said it will focus on fulfilling franchise agreements in various markets while upgrading what it calls "chronic" copper customers to fiber.

Fran Shammo, CFO and EVP of Verizon, told investors earlier this week that it still has 1 million homes left to convert from copper to fiber before it wraps up its entire conversion plan that it has been working on for three years.   

For more:
- LocalSYR.com has this article
- Syracuse Post-Standard has this article

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