Comcast is preparing to begin construction on Chappy in order to connect those who have subscribed. They expect completion by June 1, 2016, but may finish sooner.
Their representatives will be contacting the Chappy households that signed on. Each subscriber will be able to choose from many options. Fast internet service, television and a land line phone will cost about $100 less per month than current costs. The phone will be better and the internet faster.
Comcast originally required Chappy to have 280 subscribers, each paying $2139 and agreeing to 2 year contracts. In total, the town agreed to fund about $150,000. Comcast required a total contribution of $750,000. Anticipating the need for a 501C3 to accept deductible donations to subsidize the Comcast effort, the Chappaquiddick Community Fund was set up and it received 501C3 tax deductible status in May 2014.
In December 2014 being 91 short of 280, Comcast agreed to go ahead if we paid them $195,000 within one month. Twenty seven members of our community responded to an e-mail appeal with gifts ranging from $500 to $20,000. Despite the Edgartown Post Office’s performance that day, $195,000 was delivered one hour before the deadline.
Pam Dolby, the Town Manager, left her office at Town Hall, drove to the Post Office to retrieve the lost (and then found) guaranteed next day delivery priority envelope and drove it to the Edgartown National Bank which was Comcast’s agent throughout this process. Pam had worked on this a little bit every day for the previous year.
This was the finale to a five year marathon and was a partnership effort between Edgartown and the people of Chappaquiddick. This would never have happened without the extraordinary efforts of Dennis Goldin with important help along the way from Roger Becker, Jonathan Cobb, Woody Filley, Dick Chasin, Pam Statile, and Bob O’Rourke. Collectively these seven spent hundreds of hours to make this happen. They truly deserve a round of applause.