USDA ReConnect Program Grant

Connecting Fiber to the Home (FTTH) to our Service Areas

USDA Grant Media Day

Left to right, Cindy McLoud – Kiowa County Economic, Clint Felzien – Operations Manager ESTech, Ryan Palermo – TCA, Tammy Simmons – Marketing ESTech, Wade Hollowell – Hugo ESTech Director, Samantha White – Accountant ESTech, Tom Sauter – Bennett ESTech Director, Patricia White – CEO ESTech, Bradley Welp – GM ESTech, John Higgins – Genoa ESTech Director, Shane Lessenden – Haswell ESTech Director, Troy McCue – Lincoln County Economic, Curt Dutro – Karval ESTech Director, Gillian Laycock – Hugo Main Street, Armando Valdez – USDA. State Director

Eastern Slope Technologies awarded $18.7 Million USDA ReConnect Grant

Eastern Slope Technologies was awarded a $18.7 Million ReConnect grant through the USDA. This grant will extend fiber to every location in our Genoa, Arriba, Karval, Eads, Haswell, Kit Carson, and Woodrow exchanges. This future-proof fiber network will provide synchronous Gig capabilities throughout 7 of our 10 exchanges. The monies will be used to provision 645 miles of additional buried fiber spanning over 3,964 square miles. Construction will start in 2023, beginning with the Genoa and Arriba exchanges, followed by Karval, Haswell, Eads, Kit Carson, and Woodrow.
Mr. Armando Valdez, State Director of USDA Rural Development for Colorado, presented the award to Eastern Slope on November 14, 2022. Mr. Valdez praised the cooperative for their efforts to bring broadband to some of the most rural areas of eastern Colorado and noted that broadband is the “great equalizer”, putting our customers on an equal playing field with the rest of the world for jobs, education, economic development, and healthcare. Valdez also stated that Eastern Slope’s application was scored among all applications submitted nationally, and the $18.7 Million award was the largest award presented in Colorado.

$18.7 Million grant will provide FTTH to families and businesses

    “The Eastern Slope Rural Telephone Association, Inc. is pleased to accept a ReConnect grant that will bring broadband to nearly 4,000 square miles of Eastern Colorado. Upon completion of the fiber-to-the-premise project, our cooperative members will have access to abundant, reliable and affordable broadband. We would like to thank Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper for their support of broadband in rural Colorado,” said Patricia White, General Manager/CEO, Eastern Slope Rural Telephone Association, Inc.

    Fiber to the Home will be provided to families and businesses in these service areas.

    Hugo and Flagler are non-grant funded areas, but still receiving fiber.

    The Amazing Benefit of Fiber Internet

    When it comes to selecting Internet technology for your home or business, it can be challenging to determine which one is the best. Every service provider claims to provide fast and reliable Internet, but is there really a clear winner when it comes to how it is delivered?
    The answer is YES! Fiber delivers better video picture and sound, provides incredible reliability when working from home, has the lowest latency for activities like online gaming, handles multiple connected devices with ease and provides considerable advantages to businesses. Fiber optic Internet is the new gold standard for Internet technology and those fortunate enough to have access to it enjoy many advantages.

    Amazing Speed

    Internet travels to homes and businesses in a variety of ways: by radio waves, phone lines, cable networks, electric wiring or fiber optics. DSL uses copper lines, which were originally designed to carry voice signals and cable Internet is delivered through coaxial cables. DSL caps out at much slower speeds than fiber and both cable and DSL typically have significantly slower upload speeds.
    Fiber Internet uses cutting-edge technology to deliver data to and from your devices at the speed of light. Light travels through fiber optic lines at speeds that far surpass that of cable and DSL. Download AND Upload speeds are symmetrical (same download/upload). Eastern Slope Technologies currently offers speeds up to a Gig.

    Incredible Reliability

    Internet technologies such as copper, DSL and wireless can be affected by outside factors such as severe weather, temperature fluctuations and moisture. Fiber optic cables are constructed via small flexible strands of glass. Because the signal is light instead of electricity, fiber Internet is unaffected by electrical surges, moisture or cold.
    Fiber also sends data further than other technologies like wireless or copper, which are limited by distance or physical line of site to an antenna. So whether you’re next door to your Internet provider or across the county, you’ll always enjoy faster load times and higher-quality streaming.


    A fast Internet connection is essential to enjoy 21st century entertainment. It provides the ability for super high definition and 8k video streaming, virtual reality, real-time online gaming, watching your favorite online videos, connecting via social media and video calls. As technology continues to advance, only fiber Internet has the capacity to evolve with it.

    Lower Latency

    Latency refers to how much time it takes for a signal to travel to its destination and back. Low latency is very important for activities like online gaming, video conferencing, stock trading or any activity where a delay matters. Fiber Internet typically has much lower latency than wireless, cable, DSL or 5G and since no…one…wants… to… face… time… like… this … Latency matters and it’s much better with fiber.

    Connecting Multiple Devices

    The average number of Internet connected devices in the home continues to rise each year and Internet usage does too. In a few short years, most homes will have dozens of connected devices and Gig Internet will be the norm. While other Internet technologies have already reached their limits, the potential of fiber has hardly been tapped. The unique technology of fiber provides the ability for it to grow with the data and speed needs of the future, so whether connecting dozens of devices, or hundreds, fiber is ready.

    Boosting Businesses

    The incredible speed and reliability of fiber make it the best choice for businesses. We know that time is money and according to research, a slow Internet connection costs employees one week per year of productivity. The bandwidth capabilities also make it the ideal way to quickly access data and applications stored in the cloud. Fiber also offers security advantages. Unlike other technologies, the only way to penetrate a fiber-optic cable is to physically cut the fiber, which will cause the signal to disappear. It’s also future proof, so as your technology needs grow, fiber will be ready to handle the Internet needs of your business for decades to come.