Yates County / Broadband / USDA ReConnect Project

ReConnect 1 Project Highlights:

  1. The Yates County ReConnect Project is funded by a USDA/RUS ReConnect Grant for construction of a gigabit capable fiber optic broadband network to reach unserved and underserved premises in our County.
  2. Rural Utility Service (RUS) is an agency within the USDA that provides much-needed infrastructure or infrastructure improvements to rural communities.
  3. In March 2020, Yates County was awarded the Grant in Round One of the program.  Yates County was the first municipality in NYS and one of the first in the nation to receive funding in this first round of the RUS ReConnect Grants.  The $14M project includes the RUS grant monies and a required 25% match from Yates County ($3,631,625).

PFSA's (Proposed Funded Service Areas)

  1. The Proposed Funded Service Area (PFSA) of the Project are the areas that were approved by RUS for build-out using the Grant monies. See the map below of the current PFSA's (pink shaded areas).  You can zoom in/out to see more detail.
  2. There are very specific RUS definitions of what premises can and cannot be included.  
    • Unserved / underserved is defined as <10Mbps download and <1Mbps upload. 
    • It cannot be in an area that previously received Grant monies (state or federal).
    • 90% of the premises in the area must be unserved/underserved to be included. 
  3.  It is estimated that there are 1635 premises within the PFSA's.

ReConnect 1 Project Phases

This map also depicts the current phased plan for construction and go-live.  The first phase will include the backbone network connecting all the areas and then distribution and customer drop fiber will continue by area.  This map will be updated as the plans evolve.


Follow this link to get answers to many of your questions about the ReConnect project.  Frequently Asked Questions

  1. (8/18/2023) Yates County broadband project gets boost

    Updated Sep 12, 2023 PENN YAN — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is giving Yates County a $3.2 million grant to complete its broadband project — and an extra year to complete the job. Read on...
  2. (1/9/2023) Broadband groundbreaking

    Groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on Yates County's $14 million broadband project. Read on...
  3. (10/1/2021) NYS Broadband Assessment Project

    With the current focus on broadband, the State of New York has kicked off an ambitious project to gather data regarding broadband availability. Read on...
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Reconnect1 March 29 2022_B

Reports to the Finance Committee (previous 3 months included)

October 2023 Finance Committee Report

September 2023 Finance Committee Report

August 2023 Finance Committee Report

Timeline - major milestones

9/2023  Modified New York State Engineering Serviced Contract - Resolution 414-23

8/2023  USDA Supplemental Funding - Resolution 352-23

6/2023  Sign contract with LaBella Associates for One-Touch Make Ready Services - Resolution 308-23 (previous contracts/resolutions 10/2021, 4/2022, 6/2022, 7/2022) 

Contracts for Hut/Point of Presence Build

  • 4/2023  B&H Builders Site Preparation - Resolution 221-23
  • 2/2023  Empire POP Build-out - Resolution 127-23
  • 11/2022  Huts from Modular Connections - Resolution 460-22 and 331-22
  • 9/2021  Sign Memorandum of Understanding with the Town of Middlesex and the Village of Dundee for Placement of Equipment Shelters - Resolution 349-21

Master Service Contracts for Make Ready Services

  • 5/2023 H. Richardson & Sons, LLC - Resolution 260-23 and 251-22
  • 4/2023 Harlan Electric Co. - Resolution 210-23
  • 4/2023 Henkels & McCoy, Inc. - Resolution 211-23
  • 10/2022  One Source Power, LLC - Resolution 417-22
  • 8/2022 Tambe Electric, Inc. - Resolution 329-22


  • 4/2023 Graybar for Phase 1B and Selected OSP Materials
  • 10/2022  FirstLight Handholds - Resolution 10/2022
  • 8/2022  FirstLight Fiber and Selected OSP Materials - Resolution 330-22 and 295-22
  • 5/2022  Graybar Additional Fiber - Resolution 218-22
  • 5/2022 Graybar Phase 1A OSP Materials -   Resolution 174-22

9/2022  Nokia Equipment - Resolution 380-22 and 328-22

8/2022  FirstLight Phase 1A Construction - Resolution 327-22   

11/2021  Dark Fiber IRU Lease with Southern Tier Network - Resolution 426-21    

4/2021 Authorization to sign Engineering Contract with New York Engineering Services - Resolution 175-21 

2/2021 Authorization to sign Services Agreement with Empire Access - Resolution 81-21

9/2020 Request for Information (RFI) for ReConnect Broadband Business Model 

9/2020 Request for Proposals (RFP) ReConnect Broadband Network Engineering Design 

4/2020 USDA Grant and Security Agreement - Resolution 178-20 


If you have a general question about the County's current ReConnect project or future projects, contact Jeff Ayers, County Planner/Broadband Project Manager, at 315-536-5543 or [email protected].

For questions about surveyors in the field contact the NYES Resident Engineer at 315-536-5111.  

Here's a link where you can check availability of service and submit a sign up request https://www.empireaccess.com/where-we-are/check-location or contact Empire Access at 800-338-3300.  The Yates County ReConnect areas are shaded in yellow to represent future expansion.