Yates County is the only county in New York State that has applied for federal funding through USDA to build out the “middle mile” of broadband infrastructure. This is the next step to bring high speed internet directly to private households.
In theory, if the county succeeds in capturing the funding, all areas of Yates County will have the ability to connect to the internet, according to Steve Manning of Southern Tier Network. But the reality is, there will still be some locations where cable connections don’t exist and where satellite connections don’t work.
Manning reported to the legislature at its Aug. 12 meeting, explaining that the award announcements will be made in the fall of 2019 and funding will then be available in the late spring of 2020.
A map created by Hunt Engineers shows areas in all nine towns where broadband could be installed based on the USDA criteria for unserved and underserved areas.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development received 53 applications requesting more than $635 million in loan-grant combination funding in the first round of the ReConnect Pilot Program. USDA made $200 million available for loan-grant combination projects in the first round of funding.
Yates County has applied for $10.3 million for a project expected to cost nearly $14 million. Yates county plans on using a sub-contractor model to operate and maintain the network similar to other municipal and countywide technical service.
The only other application submitted from New York State came from the Cattaraugus Reservation near Lake Erie.
Other business Aug. 12:
• Hazardous Waste: Legislators authorized Chairman Douglas Paddock to sign contracts totaling at least $17,500 with two businesses to collect hazardous waste and electronic waste Sept. 21. Schuyler County will contribute $4,000 for the event so residents of that county can also use the service.
• Capital Improvement Plan: Legislators approved the Capital Improvement Plan for 2019 through 2023.
• Republican Election Commissioner: Legislators created a temporary full time Republican Election Commissioner position. Commissioner Amy Daines is out of the office on a medical leave.
The map at right shows the areas where the USDA funds could be used to build broadband connections. See the map at www.usda.gov/reconnect