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Connect Talbot FAQs

 
 

When will the project start?

The project will immediately go into the planning, engineering, design, and grant administration process. The construction phase is slated to begin in 2021 and we are committed to sharing information and updates as they are confirmed.

 

How long will the project take?

This is a five-year project as it will cover 122 square miles, reaching up to 3,447 households and 144 farms, plus several additional facilities located within the geographic footprint. The construction schedule with the location sequence and an estimated timeline is currently under development. More information will be shared as soon as it is confirmed.

 

How will I know if my location will be getting service?

Please refer to the map to see areas covered by the grant. The USDA criteria for the grant led us to identify these locations to maximize the likelihood of being awarded funding.

 

What if my location is not reflected accurately on the map?

Areas shown as currently having service available through other providers were determined on a best efforts basis. The project may be amended to correct improperly identified areas. Please join our mailing list and provide more details about your specific situation.

USDA Application Project Statistics

  • Total Project: $17.48 million
  • USDA Grant Award: $13.11 million
  • 122.36 square miles
  • Population of 8,607
  • 3,447 Households
  • 144 Farms
  • 35 Rural Businesses (already pre‑subscribed)
  • 8 Educational Facilities
  • 1 Essential Community Facility
  • 1 Healthcare Center

 

My location is so close to a red zone – will it be considered?

In order to meet the application requirements per the USDA criteria, the locations identified were conservative and some parcels were not included. We will work to address possible options for these locations as the project evolves. Please join our mailing list and provide more details about your specific situation.

 

What does it mean if my area is not served and not on the map for this project?

We will continue to pursue funding sources to consider future locations for extending broadband service. The USDA criteria for this grant led us to target the locations identified on the project map.

 

What services and speeds will be available?

Easton Velocity will install a 100% fiber network to provide high-speed internet service. There will be a variety of service options based on speed for customers to choose the level of service to best meet their needs.

 

How do I sign up?

While we are still in the preliminary planning phase to prepare for this project, at this time please feel free to join our mailing list to receive any updates. We look forward to serving you!

 

How much does this total project cost?

The total project cost is estimated at $17.5 million. The grant of $13.1 million will cover 75% of the project costs. The remaining 25% will be shared between Easton Utilities, Talbot County, the State of Maryland and the end user.

 

Where did the money come from?

Easton Utilities was awarded $13.1 million by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to extend broadband service to substantial portions of Talbot County with insufficient access (10Mbps/1Mbps). The grant was awarded via the USDA’s ReConnect Program in their second round of funding.

 

How much will it cost me personally?

Residents and business owners who subscribe to the new service will be contributing to the initial installation costs in the form of a Contribution In Aid of Construction (CIAC) fee. This is in addition to the monthly fees for service. The exact amount is yet to be finalized and will be dependent on a variety of factors. This financial model has proven effective in similar expansion projects. The CIAC will be in the form of interest free monthly payments for a specified period.

 

If there was grant funding, why do I have to pay for the construction portion?

The only way to make the project feasible is to include a contribution from all sources, including the end user which is similar to agreements for projects where we’ve installed internet service. The funding does not cover 100% of the project, and even with assistance from the State of Maryland, Talbot County, and Easton Utilities, there is still a portion needed to make this a reasonable investment. The partnership between all parties makes this project mutually beneficial to all, but especially the end user.

 

What does this mean to me if I am already an Easton Velocity customer?

Current customers will maintain the same level of first-rate service from Easton Velocity. We will continue providing fast, reliable internet service backed by local, knowledgeable Tech Support professionals and exceptional customer service. Current customers will remain a priority!

 

Who is doing the work?

Easton Velocity, a service of Easton Utilities, will design, construct, own, operate, and maintain the infrastructure. There will be subcontractors involved following a comprehensive RFP selection process.

 

How can I stay informed of the status?

Up to date information about the progress of the project will be available at eastonvelocity.com/connecttalbot. We will continue to pursue grant funding to address other unserved areas of Talbot County not included for this specific project.

 

Why are you doing this project?

The ability to provide broadband access to residents and businesses with insufficient service in Talbot County positively impacts numerous quality of life issues including employment, healthcare, education, and social connections and helps drive economic prosperity. Access to broadband is essential in order to keep pace with the global economy and prepare citizens to compete in the modern world. Providing a network to improve the quality and availability of high-speed data services to as many businesses and residents is critical, now more than ever. As a community-owned, not-for-profit organization, Easton Utilities has a best in class reputation for delivering essential services and exceptional customer service.

 

Will this project cause any negative impacts to the environment?

This project will have minimal impact to the environment, if any. The project is designed to avoid impacts to wetlands, historic sites, preserved lands, or previously unimproved or undisturbed areas.

 

Who do I contact with questions?

All specific questions and requests for additional information should be directed to:
Kelly Simonsen, Marketing & Communications Manager for Easton Utilities
410-763-9465 | ksimonsen@eucmail.com

 

 

The project is a true partnership between the USDA, The State of Maryland, Talbot County, Easton Utilities, and the rural customer community.