Broadband & Telecommunications:
Making the Connection
In today's world, business growth is increasingly built on the fusion of the physical and the digital. Broadband is important to economic development, as well as to telemedicine, education and all forms of communication, from email to teleconferencing and social media. The development of a national broadband access system has been compared to the creation of the interstate highway system in the mid-20th century.
In New Hampshire, there is an ongoing, comprehensive and unified effort to bring affordable broadband access to every corner of the state. We've made tremendous progress!
In 2010, New Hampshire had a 73 percent broadband penetration rate - 2nd in the nation
In March 2013, New Hampshire increased broadband penetration rate to 88 percent;
In September 2013, New Hampshire increased broadband penetration rate to 96 percent;
Estimates on investments in infrastructure since 2008 - $562 million;
11,000 net new jobs were created as a result of expanded broadband since 2010.
The Telecommunications Planning and Development Advisory Committee Quarter Meeting on June 12, 2014, 10am - 12noon at DRED, 172 Pembroke Rd, Concord, NH Open to the public.
Network NH Now - Stimulus Infrastructure Investment in NH project recently had a celebration event. Here is a link to the video produced for the event. http://youtu.be/yafDefBti-w
After the video, UNH CIO Joanna Young also commented the following:
As you just saw, the project epitomizes public/private collaboration. It provides state of the art broadband infrastructure to support Community Anchor Institutions, Homes, Businesses, and Public Safety.
· UNH has committed to provide free access to its new statewide network as a backup for the public safety microwave system.
· Furthermore,NHPTV has donated 10% of its statewide television signal to support the encrypted delivery of the public safety data that Captain Haynes described in the video.
· Through NHSafeNet, the NH National Guard has expanded its capability to relay mobile command post information during incidents.
TDS Telecom – Merrimack Cty Telephone Company - Release date- 01112013 - ARRA Stimulus-funded project around Bagley & Bradford, N.H. is partially complete. Partial completion of the project around Bagley and Bradford, New Hampshire provides some area households access to high-speed Internet service. The project, which is expected to wrap up by the end of the year, will provide about 800 area households with access to a high-speed Internet connection. About 14 miles of fiber optics and 11 new cabinets are being installed in this TDS exchange known as Merrimack County Telephone Company.
TDS Telecom – Kearsarge Telephone Company - has announced completion of an ARRA stimulus-funded broadband project that brought high-speed Internet services to about 130 households around Salisbury.
FairPoint Communications and The New England Telehealth Consortium are working together to link healthcare facilities in northern New England to the NETC network, recently announced its 200th connection. NETC is a federally funded consortium of healthcare providers whose mandate is to create a shared network among rural and urban healthcare facilities across the region.
Congrats to all for the Groveton Cell Tower Project: A public/private partnership between PSNH, EDA, Northern Border Regional Commission, and NCIC building a 190’ tower on Morse Mountain providing mobile coverage to Groveton and surrounding area. Combined funding of 1 Million financed the critical piece of infrastructure and road in an economically distressed area to enhance economic development efforts and public safety. The tower project used local contractors, and NH company Green Mtn Communications in construction. Cell Carrier AT&T has committed to provide service. This model can be replicated and leveraged to continue expansion efforts throughout Northern Coos Country and all over the state.
NH Digital Opportunity Consortium – an initiative to help low income families in NH and nationwide with discount internet service and purchasing discounted computer hardware. In NH Comcast is a participating provider offering “Internet Essentials” a discounted program based on free and reduced lunch program through the schools. Qualified families can get internet at $ 9.95 monthly under the program. For more information on the program visit http://www.internetessentials.com/. In addition the consortium offers a computer sales portal for discounted computers and laptops at http://www.digitalopportunityforall.org/hardware.html. The Digital Opportunity Consortium receives a 1% commission on sales through this portal (not enough to cover costs, but kept low in order to maximize affordability for low-income students and their families). They will be adding more resources to this portal often -- e.g., GovConnection has just negotiated pricing for a wireless router at about $20 per unit, which they'll be adding to the portal as soon as possible. They are indeed very nonprofit and entirely "volunteer-powered". For questions about the consortium contact Dr Robert McLaughlin at the NH Department of Education at 271-2634 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program goings on:
The Regional Planning Commissions are working on Regional Broadband Plans. Visit www.iwantbroadbandnh.org for a link to your regional planning commissions and the latest broadband mapping and planning data.
The Plan & The Mission
Since 2000, with the Department of Resources and Economic Development and the Division of Economic Development providing leadership and shaping policy for in-state telecommunications and broadband, New Hampshire has worked aggressively through its Telecommunications Advisory Board and key partners to increase deployment of broadband services throughout the state. The resulting State of New Hampshire Broadband Action Plan was published on June 30, 2008 by Berry, Dunn, McNeil and Parker.
The position of Director of Broadband Technology was created by SB159 introduced and sponsored by Senator Deborah Reynolds and signed into law by Gov. John Lynch on July 14, 2009. In late 2009, Carol Miller was hired and charged with coordinating the planning and development of a comprehensive broadband plan for the state.
The State's broadband mission is to:
- expand the availability of affordable broadband Internet access for all people, businesses and community organizations;
- promote the use of broadband to improve the quality and availability of health care, education and government services;
- work collaboratively with partners to develop an ongoing census of the broadband network infrastructure and related services to unserved and underserved areas of the state;
- foster statewide collaborative efforts in which ideas, experiences and resources can be shared to develop new ways of harnessing the Internet for the public good.
These focused efforts have helped to attract millions of dollars in grant funding and matches to improve access, while public/private partnerships have been developed, using state assets to enhance private investment.
Along with private investments, New Hampshire has benefited from the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) federal stimulus money, made available through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service. Awards have been made to organizations that are working to bring better broadband to all ten counties of New Hampshire to be completed by 2013.
The State of New Hampshire continues to work on securing funds to enhance and expand broadband all over the state. Communities and the state and federal governments all play important roles in the development of broadband projects, as do public and private partnerships with providers, which are a key component in future successes.
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.