First on NewsChannel 9: Ryan McMahon to expand internet access to all homes in Onondaga County

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Onondaga County Executive has unveiled to NewsChannel 9 his plan to invest $15 million on the installation of fibers to expand internet to rural parts of the county.

Ryan McMahon will formally make the announcement at his State of the County address, but shared the details with NewsChannel 9 first.

The county executive wants to ensure that all homes in the county have internet access, a years-long problem that he says the pandemic inspired him to fix immediately.

In an interview before his address, McMahon said, “The private sector hasn’t gotten this done for years now. We need to kind of supercharge this effort.”

“Spectrum is the dominant player here, Verizon. They aren’t in some of these communities because it’s very difficult the make the business model work,” McMahon explained.

Instead of waiting, McMahon will charge the county government to fund the installation of up to 152 miles of fiber into the rural areas of Tully, Eldridge, and Fabius, among others.

McMahon says, “We’re going to be doing a survey in short order to survey the homes that don’t have broadband, to figure out where that is.”

Once built, the county will bid out what private companies will provide the service.

The $15 million is eligible to be covered by the $89 million earmarked for Onondaga County by the latest federal stimulus bill. McMahon says his overall investments will be more than what the federal government is spending locally.

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