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Livingston County takes next step toward county-wide high speed internet

The Livingston County Board of Supervisors recently resolved to partner with Empire Access, a local internet service provider, in jointly applying to Round 3 of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service Rural eConnectivity (ReConnect) Program.

The $1.15 billion ReConnect Program offers loans and grants to facilitate broadband deployment in areas of rural America that do not have sufficient access to broadband. If funding is awarded, the publicprivate partnership will bring the County closer to realizing the goals of the ‘Light Up Livingston’ initiative, which aims to offer high-speed, fiber-optic internet access to every address in the County.

“During Round 2 of the ReConnect Program, our public-private partnership with Empire Access was successful in securing $11.3 million in grant funds. We want this momentum to continue with another successful ReConnect award in Round 3,” stated Livingston County Administrator Ian M. Coyle. “Universal broadband access will foster economic development and increase the quality of life for residents throughout Livingston County.”

A County-commissioned survey and study in 2019 designed to collect data on current broadband services in Livingston County determined: 41%of residents lack sufficient internet access, 90% of respondents consider broadband internet to be a vital public infrastructure, and 79% stated that government should play a role in financing high-speed internet development.

For more information on ‘Light Up Livingston’, please call 585.243.7040 or visit online here.