Livingston County Requests Grant to Continue Countywide Broadband Internet Efforts | Local News

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GENESEO – The Livingston County Board of Supervisors recently decided to partner with Empire Access, a local internet service provider, to jointly apply for the third round of the Rural Utilities Department’s Rural eConnectivity (ReConnect) program. US Department of Agriculture.

The $1.15 billion ReConnect program provides loans and grants to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas of America that lack sufficient broadband access.

If funding is awarded to Livingston County, the public-private partnership will bring the county closer to achieving the goals of its “Light Up Livingston” initiative, officials said.

Light Up Livingston aims to provide high-speed fiber optic internet access to all addresses in the county.

“During the second round of the ReConnect program, our public-private partnership with Empire Access was successful in securing $11.3 million in grants. We want this momentum to continue with another successful ReConnect Award in Round 3,” Livingston County Administrator Ian M. Coyle said in a statement.

“Universal broadband access will promote economic development and improve the quality of life for residents of Livingston County,” Coyle said.

Livingston County commissioned a survey and study in 2019 designed to collect data on current broadband services in Livingston County. The study learned that:

not 41% of residents do not have sufficient internet access,

not 90% of respondents see broadband internet as vital public infrastructure, and

not 79% said the government should play a role in funding the development of broadband internet.

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