October 2, 2023 Syracuse, NY – On the opening day of the National Digital Inclusion Week, the City of Syracuse, Community Broadband Network (CBN), and US Ignite announced the launch of Surge Link™, a high-speed Internet connectivity program. Surge Link aims to connect 2,500 underserved Syracuse families to high-speed, affordable broadband. Federal American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds and Federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) subsidies make the no-cost service possible.
US Ignite advised the city of Syracuse on the overall technology, deployment models, and funding strategy for Surge Link™. CBN, the selected Internet service provider, will deliver the broadband network. Syracuse plans to use existing city-owned assets and leverage local partnerships for network infrastructure locations to fast-track deployment. Local social service agencies will be vital in informing residents about the new no-cost service access, while local nonprofits and businesses will offer essential technical support and training.
To commemorate the launch of the broadband network, a ribbon-connecting ceremony was held at a Syracuse Housing Authority property. Syracuse Mayor Walsh, alongside representatives from the Syracuse Common Council, Syracuse Housing Authority, and US Ignite, enthusiastically ushered in a new era of connectivity for Syracuse residents.
"Surge Link will change people’s lives for the better now." Syracuse Mayor Walsh
“Limited access to reliable, affordable internet service deprives children from learning opportunities, and minimizes access to jobs, healthcare and other online services that many of us take for granted. Without closing the digital divide that plagues lower income neighborhoods, we can’t achieve our Syracuse Surge goal of inclusive growth in the New Economy,” said Mayor Walsh. “Surge Link will change people’s lives for the better now. We will actively be evaluating this pilot and look forward to expanding the service in the future to provide affordable, high-speed internet to underserved households in other Syracuse neighborhoods.”
A staggering 25% of residents lack high speed Internet access at home. In an age where Internet access impacts nearly every aspect of life for the average resident, communities like Syracuse must approach connectivity gaps with innovative approaches that leverage public-private partnerships. Surge Link™ enables Syracuse to share the risks and rewards of setting up a community broadband program with public and private partners.
"Since 2019, US Ignite has been a strategic partner for the city of Syracuse, delivering our technical expertise and helping to connect them with other communities, partners, and federal funding opportunities." Lee Davenport, Smart Communities Program Director, US Ignite
“Since 2019, US Ignite has been a strategic partner for the city of Syracuse, delivering our technical expertise and helping to connect them with other communities, partners, and federal funding opportunities,” said Lee Davenport, Smart Communities Program Director at US Ignite. “Now that Syracuse has launched this hybrid public-private broadband initiative, we look forward to collecting and sharing the lessons learned with our network of smart communities across the globe.”
The high-speed Internet connection is expected to catalyze the adoption of digital services while spurring Syracuse’s economic development. Throughout the pilot phase, US Ignite will continue providing expert guidance and monitoring key performance indicators to ensure the broadband network operates effectively.
Additional details and information on Surge Link™ can be found at: www.syracusesurgelink.com.
About US Ignite:
US Ignite is a high‐tech nonprofit with a mission to accelerate the smart community movement. Our public-private partnership programs leverage advanced networking and data science to drive key outcomes for communities. Our work also enables new opportunities for wireless and IoT research designed to help narrow the gap between cutting‐edge experimentation and scalable, real‐world technology deployments. For more information, visit: www.us-ignite.org
About The City of Syracuse:
The vision of the City of Syracuse–a midsize city of approximately 150,000 and the 5th largest city in the State of New York–is to be a growing city that embraces diversity and creates opportunity for all. In 2019, Mayor Ben Walsh launched Syracuse Surge–a holistic strategy for inclusive growth in the New Economy focused on adding high tech jobs and workforce development opportunities in tech, digital equity, STEAM education, and programs to increase the number of entrepreneurs from historically underrepresented communities. For the past four years, the City of Syracuse has invested in digital infrastructure and technology applications to become a smarter, more connected city. Through Syracuse Surge, more than $300 million in new investment has been generated, in addition to hundreds of tech-enabled jobs, resulting in a higher quality of life and a brighter future for Syracuse families.