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Lack of Verizon FiOS in Buffalo called example of 'digital divide'

Chris Caya WBFO News

Community activists and elected officials are once again calling on Verizon to provide FiOS service in the City of Buffalo and they're looking to the New York State Public Service Commission for help.  PUSH Buffalo's Aaron Bartley says his group wants to make sure there is no "digital divide."

"No divide between what affluent people have access to and what we in our neighborhoods have access to. At this point, that's what Verizon is doing. They're creating a digital divide between those who have higher services and those who have lower services," Bartley said.

Mayor Byron Brown said he first met with Verizon about the issue nearly a decade ago.

"It is just simply wrong for Verizon not to build out FiOS in the City of Buffalo and other communities that are requesting it," Brown said.    

The matter is expected to be discussed at the PSC's public hearings in the Central Library in Buffalo on Wednesday.   

A spokesperson for Verizon said the issue of FiOS in the City of Buffalo is just a union bargaining ploy. Members of CWA Local 1122 are currently working without a contract.