The Talbot County Council presented a check for $1.75 million to Easton Utilities at their meeting on Tuesday, October 11, fulfilling a promise to residents to invest in broadband access for the entire county.
“This funding will remove the only remaining barrier for those needing access to broadband service as we realize affordability is crucial,” says Chuck Callahan, Talbot County Council President. The funding for this project was made available to counties and municipalities through the American Rescue Plan Act and caps a series of investments made by Talbot County to help fund the development of infrastructure for broadband access.
Easton Utilities was selected by Talbot County through a formal Request for Information (RFI) process that began in 2017. This final funding commitment covers the Contribution In Aid of Construction (CIAC) fee, eliminating the portion of the project that was initially planned to be paid by customers.
President and CEO of Easton Utilities Hugh E. Grunden praised the Talbot County Council thanking them for prioritizing broadband by allocating this funding for Connect Talbot, the rural broadband expansion project. “The residents of Talbot County are very fortunate as all will benefit from having equal access to broadband that is being provided by this grant funding,” stated Grunden.
Grunden also provided a status update for Connect Talbot project, explaining that construction is in progress across several locations throughout the county. To date, Easton Utilities has provided access to more than 575 customers and installed almost 100 miles of fiber. The goal is to complete all construction by the end of 2026, which would make Talbot County one of the only counties in Maryland with 100% access to broadband.
All updates and project information, including an interactive map of the coverage area, can be found at EastonVelocity.com/ConnectTalbot.