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 ($3,489,125).

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. (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...
  2. (6/3/2021) Yates County Broadband ReConnect Project Meets Two Major Milestones

    Behind the scenes, the County’s Broadband Committee has been working away diligently and have brought two major contracts to the Legislature for review and approval. Additional Info...
  3. Yates County Broadband ReConnect Project Picks up Steam

    Yates County was recently awarded a USDA/RUS ReConnect Grant for construction of a gigabit capable fiber optic broadband network to reach unserved/underserved premises in our County. Read on...
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Reconnect1 March 29 2022_B

Broadband Committee

This Ad-hoc Committee was formed when the County decided to apply for the 1st round of the USDA/RUS ReConnect Grant.  It provides guidance and oversight to the Project.  It has grown with the addition of local residents with broadband, technical and business expertise.  Current members include:

  • Nonie Flynn – Yates County Administrator
  • Jeffrey Ayers – Yates County Planner
  • Tim Groth – Yates County IT Director
  • Marian Walrath – Specialist – Projects and Grants, Yates County Planning Office
  • Leslie Church – Yates County Legislator; Chairwoman of the Legislature
  • Tim Cutler – Yates County Legislator
  • Rick Willson – Yates County Legislator
  • Mike Lipari – Finger Lakes Economic Development Council
  • Steve Brigham – Yates County resident -Technology / business advisor
  • Brian Gentry – Yates County resident -Technology / business advisor
  • Mike O’Brien -- Yates County resident -Technology / business advisor
  • Greg Reitz -- Yates County resident - Technology / business advisor

REPORTS to Finance Committee:  (previous 3 months included)

3-7-2023 Finance Committee Report

4-4-2023 Finance Committee Report

5-2-2023 Finance Committee Report


3/2020 ReConnect Award received from USDA

9/18/2020 Request for Information (RFI) for ReConnect Broadband Business Model /DocumentCenter/View/3842

9/25/2020 Request for Proposals (RFP) ReConnect Broadband Network Engineering Design /DocumentCenter/View/3864

2/8/2021 Resolution 81-21 Authorization to sign Services Agreement with Empire Access /DocumentCenter/View/4538

4/12/2021 Resolution 175-21 Authorization to sign Engineering Contract with New York Engineering Services/DocumentCenter/View/4537

9/13/2021 Resolution 349-21 Authorize Chairman to Sign Memorandum of Understanding with the Town of Middlesex and the Village of Dundee for Placement of Equipment Shelters 

10/12/2021 Resolution 380-21 Authorize Chairman to Sign Contract with LaBella Associates for One Touch Make Ready Services


If you have a general question about the County's current ReConnect project or future projects, contact Marian Walrath, Grant Specialist, at 315-531-3213 or [email protected] or Jeff Ayers, County Planner, 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.