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Unserved & Underserved Communities

Taking Control of Your Broadband Destiny

There are stranded areas in every town/city in New Hampshire that lack access to broadband because of the technology limitations of distance or lack of infrastructure. Without broadband, citizens do not have access to opportunities for enrichment, education, or the global market place.

Chances are no one is going to come in and fix your problem; otherwise you would already have broadband today. Service will eventually make it to your neck of the woods if you are content to wait. No one better understands your issues than you, so it's time to get to work and take control of your broadband destiny.

10 Steps To Better Broadband

The information below is designed to serve as a starting point in a very basic approach to help address the broadband needs of communities and neighborhoods looking for a solution.

  1. Understand the limits of a given broadband technology.
    • DSL: digital subscriber line using telephone lines.
    • Cable access: cable internet that uses cable TV infrastructure.
    • Fixed wireless: line of sight between subscriber and access point. (Wi-Fi or mesh)
    • Mobile wireless: using cellular carriers 3G/4G service on the go.
    • Satellite service: line of sight generally need a clear view of the southern sky.

  2. Develop a vision.
    • What are you trying to do?
      • Get DSL to extend service.
      • Get cable to extend service down your street.
      • Set up a wireless access node and distribute to neighborhood.
    • How do you move the vision forward?
      • Steering committee and community involvement.

  3. Build consensus.
    • Start with end users.
    • Create a steering committee:
      • Local stakeholders (people who need broadband).
      • Sign key politicians on early: Broadband should be tracked in all Master Plans.
      • Technology specialists
      • Community anchor institutions
      • Regional Planning Commissions
    • Add the leadership.
    • Connect with others, combine efforts.
    • Power in numbers.
    • Communication is key.

  4. Be clear on goals.
    • Where are we going? Create a plan.
    • How are we going to get there? Follow the plan.
    • How will we know we have arrived? Measure progress and be flexible.

  5. Identify the stakeholders.
    • Who will benefit?
      • Town
      • Neighborhood
      • Region
    • Who is willing to pay something?
      • Neighbors out-of-pocket
      • Grant-funded
      • Town-funded
    • What do you really need?
      • Develop a financial strategy

  6. Undertake an effective needs assessment.
    • Ask the right questions.
    • Ask the right people.
    • Do the math.
    • Be creative in your proposed solutions.
    • Document.
    • Log your location without broadband at www.iwantbroadbandnh.org.

  7. Plan for the political process.
    • Know the laws, rules and regulations.
    • Address adversarial issues early and often.
    • Know your legislators and local politicians.
    • Get proactive with ordinances.
    • Be prepared for change.

  8. Partner, partner, partner!
    • Regional and/or local groups.
    • Service providers.
    • Broadband initiatives such as New Hampshire Fastroads.
    • Regional Planning Commissions are convening stakeholder groups in all 9 regions.
    • Don't go it alone!

  9. Determine the public private partnerships (PPP) type you will utilize:
    • Private sector owned, no public involvement.
    • Public utility owned and operated.
    • PPP in which the community invests money.
    • Community contributes resources, no money to PPP.
    • Public/State, community owns and leases infrastructure to Internet service provider (ISP).
    • Private owns, local government anchor tenant.
    • Not- for-profit or limited liability company (LLC) owns infrastructure, ISPs offer services.

  10. Look for funding sources and grants.

For more information about broadband availability and initiatives, contact Carol Miller, Director of Broadband Technologies at 603-271-2341 X138 or 603-731-2608 (cell) or email carol.miller@dred.nh.gov.

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