The Livingston County Board of Supervisors resolved last week to partner with a local Internet service provider (ISP) in jointly applying to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Infrastructure Program. The $288 million program supports broadband infrastructure deployment to areas lacking broadband, especially those in rural locations. If funding is awarded, the public-private partnership will bring the County closer to realizing its “Light Up Livingston” initiative, which aims to offer high-speed, fiber-optic Internet access to every address in the County, said Livingston County Administrator Ian M. Coyle.
“This is another great example of how our County continues to identify and pursue funding opportunities to “Light Up Livingston” with access to reliable and affordable high-speed Internet for our homes, schools, and businesses,” said Coyle. “Investments in improving local Internet service benefit us all. They nurture economic development, job growth, rural entrepreneurship, and innovative technologies right here in Livingston County.”
A County-commissioned survey and study designed to collect data on current broadband services in Livingston County determined 41 percent of residents lack sufficient Internet access, 90 percent of respondents consider broadband Internet to be a vital public infrastructure, and 79 percent stated that government should play a role in financing high-speed Internet development. Should the NTIA approve funding, Livingston County will provide the recommended 10 percent non-federal cost share for the project.