Madison County holds kickoff meeting for broadband project

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WAMPSVILLE — On Tuesday, Madison County officials held a kickoff meeting with partners of the Madison County ReConnect Project. Through the construction of a fiber optic broadband cable network, the project will provide high-speed fiber optic internet access to unserved/underserved homes, businesses, and farms in the county.

The meeting included Empire Access, who will provide the service for this new network, Madison County Administrator Mark Scimone, Town of Lenox Supervisor John Pinard (Chairman of Public Utility Service Committee), New York Engineering Services, ECC Technologies, Madison County Treasurer Cindy Edick, Madison County Director of Planning Scott Ingmire, and other county leaders.

“We are excited about today’s kickoff meeting,” Scimone said. “Our society revolves around being online, whether it is for school, health care, or even for fun, everyone deserves the opportunity to be able to access high-speed, reliable internet. That is exactly what this project will provide for many of our residents.”

He continued, “The actual construction of the new broadband infrastructure will take time due to the complexity of the fiber design and build out, and numerous regulations we must follow.”

According to Madison County’s website, the initial build-out of the broadband to the Proposed Funded Service Areas (PFSA) will connect 1,087 households, 50 farms, and 30 businesses to high-speed broadband.

To serve these areas, lines will be run in almost a circle through the county.

After the initial build-out, Empire Access will be able to provide service to communities along that route and also be a major competitor to existing providers.

Madison County’s ReConnect Project is funded by a $10.1 million USDA ReConnect Grant that was awarded in July 2021, a $3.3 million match from Madison County, and $2.3 million investment by Empire Access, according to officials.

Over the next few months, Madison County will be working with its partners to develop a three-stage construction timeline.

Madison County will be providing updates on the project as it progresses.

To follow the progress, visit the county’s website or call 315-366-2822.

To find out if service will be available in your area, go to Empire Access’s map by visiting www.empireaccess.com/where-we-are/madison.

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