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Tilson Assists Seneca Nation to Implement USDA Reconnect-Funded FTTP Network


The Seneca Nation’s Cattaraugus Territory encompasses approximately 22,000 acres (or 34.4 square miles) with a population of 2,655 enrolled Tribal members and their families, 41 government facilities, and approximately 1,200 residential and commercial structures.

Tilson was able to provide expert surveying, design, engineering, permitting, licensing, and financial consulting to assist the Nation in deploying a FTTP network to deliver high-speed internet access to the entire Territory, while saving approximately $425,000 or roughly 8.5% of the estimated total project cost.

The Challenge

The Cattaraugus Territory had no high-speed internet connectivity which made remote learning and working from home impossible.

After winning a $4.3 million USDA ReConnect Funding Program grant, the Nation required a reliable firm to provide expert-level broadband consulting and holistic oversight of the network deployment process. The network will provide access to all premises on the Territory, provide speeds up to 2.4 Gbps downstream and 1.2 Gbps upstream per 32 subscribers, and be engineered for integration and expansion of future technological advances or subscriber growth.

“[The Tilson] team have been great to work with. We appreciate the teamwork and dedication to our project. As the customer, we have always felt as if Tilson has our best interest in mind.” 

– Anthony Giacobbe, Director of Seneca Energy/Seneca Nation

The Solution 

Tilson provided first-in-class turn-key services for the duration of the project including: financial forecasting and business modeling, site surveys, design and engineering, permitting and licensing, and make-ready management.

Tilson designed and is planning to construct a 52-mile fiber broadband network connecting the entirety of identified premises in the Cattaraugus Territory that will provide high-speed internet access and digital phone service to the entire Territory including over 1200 homes.

Through value-added engineering, Tilson was able to creatively re-purpose existing commercial grade properties as hut locations, efficiently develop routes to leverage federal funding, and ultimately introduce savings of approximately $425,000 or roughly 8.5% of the estimated total project cost.


​Tilson partners with public and private sector community leadership to plan, design, construct, and maintain viable and cost-effective broadband networks that are essential to communities’ safety, economy, health, and quality of life.

Learn more about our services: Or contact us to discuss your specific network deployment needs. 


The Seneca Nation is a federally recognized Tribal nation consisting of five Territories over approximately 54,000 acres in Western New York.

Solutions / Services

  • Business model planning and financial forecasting
  • Pole data collection and field surveying
  • Pole applications and make-ready management
  • Outside plant engineering and low-level design
  • Construction-ready plans, bill-of-materials, and constructability estimation
  • Permitting and licensing

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