Sprint has tried to enter the wireless market in Ithaca and so far has done a truley poor job. When I was shopping for a new carrier over two years ago, I went into the store and was very impressed by Sprint. They said that they were building a tower in Ithaca that should be operational soon and that the tower would give Sprint great coverage and reception. Well, over two years later, I don't think that tower is operational yet and the service, to put it bluntly, sucks.
My friend, despite my warnings, got Sprint. The only place he got reception in our huge apartment was in the corner by the window. He used to sit on the ledge, curled up in the corner everytime he had to use the phone.
Meanwhile, the rest of us in the apartment had Verizon and got coverage everywhere in the apartment.
Bottom line, unless Sprint has actually began using the tower, don't believe anything they tell you. Don't commit yourself with their assurances that it will be operational soon. Go with Verizon.