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Low cost internet coming to Syracuse zip codes facing digital divide

Hands type on a silver laptop with a black keyboard.
Marco Verch

Common councilors Monday approved using $3.5 million of federal pandemic relief funds to bring high speed internet service to low-income residents. CBN Geneva will install transmitters and receivers using existing fiber optic lines.

Councilor Michael Greene said broadband is a necessary utility that opens opportunities.

“You're going to need internet access to be able to book your doctor's appointment, apply for jobs, apply for government benefits, and do homework," Greene said. "So it's just ultimately something that we want all our residents be able to have access to.”

Under the pilot program, the service would be available to about 2,500 homes on the city’s Southside and the Southwest and Near West sides for about $40 a month. Federal rebates could reduce that cost by up to 75%.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at