Light Up Livingston

Light-Up-Livington_Logo'Light Up Livingston' is a Livingston County initiative that responds to the need for high-speed, affordable broadband service in the County. The goal is to provide the opportunity for access to high-speed, fiber-optic internet to every address. This effort is comprised of several phases, internet service providers and grant opportunities (where available).

The Livingston County Board of Supervisors and County Administrator Ian M. Coyle are dedicated to improving the high-speed broadband network to enrich the quality of life for residents, ensure that economic development opportunities are available for agriculture and businesses and have a positive impact on education, telemedicine, emergency services, the local economy and home values. Access to high-speed internet is no longer a luxury in our society, it is a necessity for all, which Livingston County is actively seeking to address.

A Phased Approach

  • Phase I (complete)The New York State Broadband Program Office awarded funding to Hughes Network Systems and Armstrong Telephone to expand high-speed internet in southern Livingston County.
  • Phase II (in progress)Livingston County was awarded $11,304, 241 through the second round of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural eConnectivity (ReConnect) grant in fall 2021. 

A public-private partnership was formed between Livingston County and Empire Access for deployment of these grant funds. Empire Access will own and operate hundreds of miles of a fiber-optic network that will offer reliable, high-speed Internet access to approximately 1,118 addresses in Livingston County. Livingston County provided the match funds for the grant and over time Empire Access will pay the County for this investment. Empire Access was rated the fastest Internet Service Provider (ISP) in 2021 by PCMag.  More information on pricing and availability can be found at www.empireaccess.com/livingston.

Work for this project began in winter 2022 with survey and engineering of the network. Pole application permits have been submitted for several phases of the project and the Points of Presence (POP) locations have been identified and agreements for those properties are being finalized with local officials. Gap assessments were identified and network reroutes were identified and surveyed. All work is in close coordination between project partners and the USDA.

  • Phase III (pending grant award)Livingston County alongside Empire Access have once again prepared an application to the USDA for grant funding. This USDA request is for $11,655,200 grant funding, with a $3,884,400 match provided by Livingston County. This project will provide fiber to the premise for 3,096 addresses and continue the relationship between the entities to deliver high speed internet to every address in the County.

Will There be Future Phases?

Yes! The 'Light Up Livingston' initiative is a phased approach where the county is leveraging grant opportunities as they become available. Right now, there are several funding sources under consideration and grant applications pending. Stay tuned for more information about future broadband expansion. 

This webpage will be updated regularly as current phases progress and future phases of 'Light Up Livingston' take shape. For more information on the 'Light Up Livingston' initiative, please email County broadband officials here or call 585-243-7550. We're happy to gather more information from citizens about internet speeds, availability and the progress of this project.

 View the Livingston County broadband web application on a separate web page.

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Background and Methods

Livingston County recognizes the vital importance of broadband access. There have been technical studies which acknowledge the need for improved access to broadband internet. These studies include the County’s Strategic Plan, the County’s anti-poverty initiative called THRIVE LivINgston, the County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan, and the Livingston County Economic Development Strategic Plan.

The county commissioned a county-wide asset inventory, an engineering report and a public survey to analyze the need and shape future strategies for rural broadband development. The survey was distributed county-wide in the winter of 2019 to residents, businesses, and farm operators. It was designed to collect data on current broadband services, offerings and speeds by location. The results from the survey have been vital for a better understanding of the internet landscape in the county. Among respondents:

  • 41% lack sufficient internet access in Livingston County today
  • 90% of respondents consider broadband internet to be vital public infrastructure
  • 79% stated that government should play a role in financing high-speed internet development

For a more detailed presentation of Livingston County's broadband efforts please see the slide presentation from the Light Up Livingston Update as given to the Finger Lakes Digital Inclusion Coalition on September 28, 2021.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here you'll find FAQs associated with the 'Light Up Livingston' initiative.

New York State Broadband Assessment Program

Under the Comprehensive Broadband Connectivity Act of 2021, the New York State Department of Public Service (DPS) is directed to study, on an annual basis, the availability, reliability, and cost of high-speed broadband service in New York State. The Broadband Assessment Program is administered by DPS to fulfill these obligations and produce an interactive map of its findings. 

The interactive map can be found at https://mapmybroadband.dps.ny.gov

New York State Press Release

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