Project Overview

Welcome to the project page. We will try to provide access to all available project information from this page.

What is being proposed?

  • A state-of-the-art high-speed fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network.
  • City-wide wireless Internet access (technology to be determined).
  • The network will reach all homes and businesses in Syracuse.
  • A community-owned broadband (cable) utility.
  • Funded from subscriber revenue.
  • Financed with a revenue bonds issue, and possibly federal broadband stimulus grants for some related community service (public computer clusters, computer training, etc.).

What does it get you?

  • Significantly lower prices (at least 30%), and more flexible service options.
  • Community control of prices, services, policies, and infrastructure investment.
  • Affordable service options to provide true universal access (bridging the digital divide).
  • Television – All the channels currently available and more, with a-la-carte selection options so you pay only for what you want.
  • Internet – Very high-speed 100Mb/s–1Gb/s service.
  • Telephone – local, national, and international calling.
  • Well-equiped public access studio(s); generous funding for public access, education, and government (PEG) channel programming; and access to multiple additional local programming channels.
  • Greatly reduced city and school district telecommunications related expenses through consolidation, and greatly increased service capabilities and flexibility.

Why Fiber?

  • It actually costs less today to build and service a new fiber-optic network than a new copper-based network. A fiber-optic network has around 100 times the capacity of copper and continues to improve rapidly with the electronics. Fiber networks are "future proof".
  • To view multiple HD programs (2+ TVs in home) simultaneously, for video phone, Net radio, telemedicine, tele-education, gaming, and other new services, the typical home will require the much higher bandwidth fiber can provide.
  • Fiber is the fastest, most reliable technology available.

Why Community-Owned?

A community-owned network has no profit requirements; it can charge less and offer more services and greater public access. The decisions on prices, services, policies, and infrastructure investment are made to maximize the public good, not the profits of a private company.


Comments to Syracuse Common Council
Regarding the franchise renewal with Time Warner Cable, and the municipal cable option (November 2008).

James Kenny comments to Common Council
Regarding the franchise renewal, describing the experience of White Plains, NY (July 2008).

Project Reports & Analysis

Syracuse Public Broadband Initiative Overview
A one page summary and handout describing the initiative.

Syracuse Public Broadband Rationale & Proposal
Currently the main document on the initiative; a living document that will evolve with the project.

SMBI Petition
Petition for a Syracuse municipal broadband utility. You can also sign our online petition.

What is Net Neutrality?
An attempt to describe the principle and explain the issues in more detail.

In The News

Project Changes Name  -  Jul 1, 2011

Syracuse Community Broadband Initiative is the new name of the project. This was done because the use of "municipal" seemed to create a number of misconceptions in the minds of some institutional leaders. We used the term "municipal" generically to mean community-owned, and community ownership and control is what we wish to emphasize.

Clearwire Launches 4G Service in Rochester & Syracuse  -  Jul 1, 2010

Clearwire today announced the launch of its 4G mobile broadband service for businesses and consumers in Rochester and Syracuse, New York. Designed to deliver the Internet at speeds four times faster than 3G, CLEAR is priced comparably to many wireless broadband plans, but has no usage caps.

Clearwire to Offer WIMAX Service in Syracuse  -  May 6, 2010

According to The Syracuse Post-Standard, Clearwire, in partnership with Sprint and Time Warner Cable, will begin offering 4G (WIMAX) mobile broadband service in Syracuse later this summer. Judging from Clearwire's website,, the service is expected to provide 1.5Mbps download and 0.5Mbps upload speeds starting at around $30/mo.

Verizon FiOS Says No To Syracuse  -  Apr 6, 2010

Today, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported that Syracuse will not get Verizon FiOS service. Verizon may provide FiOS Internet service to parts of Syracuse's eastside where the buildout is apparently more complete. But it won't pursue a Video Franchise with the city, so TV service will not be available.

Syracuse Gets Road Runner Speed Boost. Rochester? Not  -  Mar 27, 2010

Syracuse is the latest Time Warner Cable city getting the benefits of increased speed from Time Warner Cable’s DOCSIS 3 Wideband upgrade. Rochester is not, apparently because Verizon FiOS has not entered Rochester, thus not creating the need for Time Warner Cable to upgrade it's network to remain competitive---as it had to do in Syracuse.

See the full article: