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Activists to Verizon: Build FIOS in Buffalo

By Michael Mroziak

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-963881.mp3

Buffalo – Verizon is being urged to offer its high-speed internet and television service within the City of Buffalo.

A coalition of activists joined elected officials outside Verizon's downtown Buffalo headquarters Monday morning, calling on the company to install its fiber-optic system known as FIOS within the city.

Currently the high-speed internet and television service is available in seven local suburbs. While Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown acknowledged the high-speed entertainment and educational opportunities families could enjoy, he said FIOS, more importantly, will equip Buffalo businesses to become more competitive.

Activists say access to FIOS will benefit Buffalo schoolchildren by giving them a tool that is available to their suburban counterparts. Business, they say, will also benefit by providing high-speed internet access that is essential in a high-tech economy.

Participants pointed out the irony that Buffalo currently hosts a FIOS video hub that serves customers in the suburbs and even as far away as Syracuse, yet people living within the city limits cannot access the same service.