Light Up Livingston

Livingston County would like to hear from residents and businesses through a short online survey to better understand their broadband needs. The survey results will help to inform future discussions as the county considers advancing the expansion of broadband access into the community.

“Broadband continues to be a hot button topic at nearly every community forum we hold,” said Livingston County Administrator Ian Coyle. “It is clear from talking to residents and local businesses that high-speed, reliable Internet access is of vital importance to their daily lives.”

Coyle added, “Parts of our county are quite rural, and there are many folks with no or poor access to the Internet. High-speed, reliable Internet could help to put us at an advantage when it comes to quality of life issues - such as education, employment, public safety, and community health. It also has the potential to support our economic development efforts as we strive for increased business retention, expansion, and attraction throughout the county.”

The online broadband survey - including an Internet speed test - has been designed to collect information on current broadband services and future needs by location.

David LeFeber, Chairman of the Livingston County Board of Supervisors, said “We are asking all households and businesses to take this online survey so that we can work toward high-speed, reliable Internet access for all.” LeFeber continues, “It is important for us, as a community, to work together to close the digital divide that currently exists in our county so that we are not left behind.” The term ‘digital divide’ often refers to the economic, educational, and social inequalities between those who have computers and online access and those who do not.

Please click here to access the survey. If you do not have internet at your home or business, paper copies of the survey are available at town and village offices as well as the Livingston County Planning Department. You may also call the Planning Department at 585-243-7550 if you would like a copy of the survey. The survey will be open through January 31, 2020.


'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 in the county. 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.

Background

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

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LUL SURVEY RESULTS

 A Phased Approach

The New York State Broadband Program Office recently awarded a grant to Hughes Network Systems and Armstrong Telephone to expand high-speed internet in southern Livingston County. This is considered Phase I under 'Light Up Livingston'.

Phase II of 'Light Up Livingston' is funded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ReConnect grant program and is the first step toward the County fulfilling its initiative. This phase involves a public-private partnership between Livingston County and Empire Access, a local Internet service provider. County Administrator Ian M. Coyle said, “I would like to thank Empire Access for joining us in this unique public-private partnership. This broadband project will serve as a model for other New York State counties that want to spur development in rural communities and other places that have been neglected for too long.”

 As part of the public-private partnership, Empire Access will own and operate hundreds of miles of a fiber optic network that will offer reliable, high-speed Internet access to the County’s most underserved and unserved areas. Upon completion, household, farm, business and school addresses on the network will have access to 1 Gigabit-level Internet service.

GRANT AWARD AREA. FINAL

Will There be Future Phases?

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 and phases that make up 'Light Up Livingston.'

When will High Speed Internet be Available at my Address?

Please visit https://nysbroadband.ny.gov/all-phases-municipality or http://armstrongny.com/Home/Map for more information on Phase I. To check your eligibility for Phase II service, visit www.empireaccess.com/livingston.

We Want to Hear from You!

Livingston County would like to hear from residents and businesses through a short online survey to better understand their broadband needs. The survey results will help to inform future discussions as the county works to expand broadband access into the community. The online broadband survey - including an Internet speed test - has been designed to collect information on current broadband services and future needs by location.

Please click here to access the survey. If you do not have internet at your home or business, paper copies of the survey are available at town and village offices as well as the Livingston County Planning Department. You may also call the Planning Department at 585-243-7550 if you would like a copy of the survey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for FAQs associated with the 'Light Up Livingston' initiative.

Additional Information

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 broadband@co.livingston.ny.us or call 585-243-7550.