Broadband Initiative

Broadband Project Activities

Inventory of Broadband Assets: The inventory identified infrastructure that would be useful in developing a county-wide strategy to improve access to high-speed internet services. Assets include: tall structures such as existing cell and radio towers; facilities important to the public such as municipal buildings, schools, libraries, and hospitals; emergency response facilities such as police, fire and EMS stations; large commercial and industrial business locations; main street/downtown districts; farms and major agricultural operations; and environmental information such as topography and elevations. 

Preliminary Engineering Report for Broadband Development in Livingston County: This document serves as an assessment of broadband development. Livingston County hired Hunt Engineers to complete the technical assessment.  The objectives were to:

  • map the County population (related to density for the ReConnect Program criteria) 
  • identify current internet providers and the speeds provided 
  • explore the different public-private partnerships for providing broadband internet service 
  • evaluate multiple funding sources to improve internet service and speeds in the County. 

This document identified census blocks within Livingston County that would be eligible for USDA ReConnect funding, among other sources of federal and state dollars. 

Public Internet Survey: A public survey was released to better understand the landscape with regard to current providers, internet speeds, and palatability of a public-private partnership in the County. Between December 2, 2019, and January 31, 2020, there were over 1,900 responses from residents, businesses and farms. Responses indicate that: 

  • 91% respondents subscribe to internet service today 
  • Current providers in the County are Spectrum (39%), Frontier (39%), HughesNet (4%), Verizon (4%), AT&T (1%), no internet (8%), and other (5%) 
  • Many respondents (41%) have internet speeds 10 Mbps or slower (the USDA Reconnect Program threshold for “served” is 10 Mbps) 
  • 90% responded that high-speed internet should be considered essential public infrastructure 

Request for Proposals for Public-Private Partnership and Application to USDA ReConnect Program: In January 2020, Livingston County released a Request for Proposals to partner with a private ISP to supply broadband service within the USDA ReConnect Program eligible areas. This partnership is still forming, and the county has chosen Empire Access, a local company to the Finger Lakes. Together in this public-private partnership, we filed an application for USDA ReConnect Program funds. 

Other Activities: 

  • County staff continues to attend sessions on the NYS Broadband Program. 
  • The basis for this broadband development comes from various adopted plans and studies which identify the need for improved access to broadband services. This includes the County’s anti-poverty initiative, known as THRIVE LivINgston, and the Livingston County Economic Development Strategic Plan.