What do the candidates for mayor think about municipal broadband.

The Syracuse Progressive Coalition put together a platform for the mayor of Syracuse, and gathered responses from the candidates.

The Progressive Coalition Mayoral Platform:

“8. Authorize funds for a technical and financial feasibility study to create a municipal broadband service, including a full audit of the Time Warner Cable system, as authorized by federal law, in order to determine its value (for possible purchase). If purchasing the system is not possible, re-negotiate the cable franchise agreement to provide increased Public, Educational and Government programming (with updated facilities/equipment for community organizations to use), and free wifi in public spaces.”

Otis Jennings: "yes"

Stephanie Miner: "While municipal ownership of broadband system may provide significant benefits, cost factors may prove to make this a very difficult path. At the very least it will be important for us to come to an agreement with our city's cable provider that provides a wider variety of benefits to consumers. There are certainly some exciting possibilities that we should vigorously discuss and pursue."

Steve Kimatian: “A study should be undertaken to determine the feasibility of creating Wi-Fi nodes that would be available to citizens throughout the City.”

The impression these responses might suggest is that the candidates are not yet well-informed about the nature, technology, and financing options for a municipal broadband utility service. This is understandable. It will be a major task of SMBI to help our public officials develop a much greater understanding of the benefits of municipal broadband service.