Rochester Could Benefit From Their Own Public Broadband Initiative

Rochester won't be getting Verizon FiOS service anytime soon. Nor will it get an upgraded network from Time Warner Cable—precisely because Time Warner Cable isn't feeling or expecting any competition. And yet, Rochester would gain substantial economic development benefits if it could offer high-speed communications services to businesses and residents. Instead, Rochester will be put at a downright disadvantage as nearby communities get wired for fiber.

"Rochester is one of many communities challenged by the transition away from a manufacturing economy towards a high technology future. A world class fiber optic network doesn't just benefit big business. It spurs revolutionary growth in medicine, education, software development, telecommunications, and more. That means good paying jobs. For consumers with fiber to the home, it opens the door to telecommuting on a whole new level, distance learning opportunities, new ways to access information and entertainment, and allows home-based entrepreneurs to develop new businesses."

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Perhaps we in Syracuse could encourage Rochester to explore building a publicly-owned FTTH network and service. We could then collaborate, share notes, make better decisions, and save money. Imagine Rochester and Syracuse both running 1Gb/s city-wide networks with multi Gb/s links between us. Together, we would attract even more business than either of us alone. Add Ithaca, and we would create a high-tech business, medical, scientific, and academic research powerhouse region—valley or no valley.