© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Critics call on Verizon for FiOS TV access in Buffalo

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Verizon may not want to install its FiOS system in Buffalo but city residents and politicians want it. That was the consensus expressed Tuesday night meeting in the West Side Community Center.

It's an issue which has been bubbling along for years, the utility giant putting a toe into the telecommunications picture in the city while installing a real footprint in the suburbs. As many speakers noted last night, the company is doing the same in many Upstate cities.

In Buffalo, those who have FiOS can only use it for phone and internet while in the suburbs there is also cable TV.

The company was invited to the meeting last night but no one showed, at least openly.

"We know in today's environment, information in some ways is the most valuable resource for any business or for that matter individual," said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

"When Verizon is saying to us we're not going to give you the latest and greatest technology, but we are going to put it in other places in this country and we're going to ignore your community, they're saying we don't care if this stunts your economy. We don't care if this hurts your growth. We don't care if this hurts the job opportunity to the people in this community. I say that's wrong."

The company has said it can't make enough money quickly for investing in city service to be worthwhile.

An alliance of elected public officials and union leaders is continuing to push the issue, with talk of new regulations to force Verizon to offer the full FIOS service in the city.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.