What is NHEC doing to expand broadband access to its members?
Through NH Broadband, NHEC is working with strategic partners to identify local, state, and federal funding opportunities and evaluating different pathways to provide high speed internet service. In December 2020, NHEC completed its first fiber to the home networks. These networks made high speed internet available to nearly 1000 members in parts of Lempster, Colebrook, Clarksville and Stewartstown. These projects were funded by a grant from the Connecting New Hampshire Emergency Broadband Expansion Program and are the first steps towards a larger goal of ensuring all NHEC members have access to high speed internet.
What’s the latest?
NH Broadband is pursuing funding opportunities, exploring strategic partnerships and planning further expansion into unserved parts of our service territory in 2021. Stay tuned to this page for updates as our plans develop. It will likely take several years to make high speed internet service available to all members, but we’re committed to bringing this essential service to members and are working as quickly as possible to make it happen.
What can I do?
Member and community interest in broadband service is a key factor we are considering when developing where to build and when. Enter your address and let us know that you want reliable high-speed internet. While you’re at it, tell your friends and neighbors so let us know they want service too.
How are NH Broadband buildout decisions being made?
We are actively working on our construction plan for 2021 and beyond. There are a number of factors that we are considering when deciding the next community to serve, including:
- Availability of state and federal grants
- Member interest expressed through this website
- Areas with higher density of unserved and underserved members
- Engineering and construction considerations that achieve the fastest, most cost-effective buildout possible
When will NH Broadband provide service to my town?
We know that inability to access reliable high speed internet is an immense burden on our unserved and underserved members. NH Broadband is moving quickly to develop and finalize our plans for network expansion, but it may take several years to reach all our members who want service. Member and community interest is a key factor in our decision making, so please enter your information so we know which communities have the greatest level of interest.
What type of internet service is NH Broadband offering?
We are committed to offering the highest quality internet service that will meeting our members’ needs into the future. We are developing an all fiber optic network, that offers speeds up to 1 Gigabit symmetrical upload and download.
Why is NHEC working to provide members with broadband internet service?
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus the critical need for high speed internet service throughout New Hampshire. For far too long rural communities have been disadvantaged due to the lack of high speed internet. As virtual business activity, remote learning, and telemedicine have become the norm, the limited, often unreliable, services available in these communities today do not meet the needs of NHEC members.
Electric cooperatives, like NHEC, played an essential role in bringing electricity to rural areas in the late 1930s. The same need exists now with high speed Internet access. Today, NHEC provides electric distribution service to 85,000 members, located in 118 communities across New Hampshire. Just as it brought electricity to rural New Hampshire over 80 years ago, NHEC is uniquely positioned to help bring high speed internet to these same areas today. NHEC is committed to ensuring our members have access to this essential service.
Why were Lempster and Colebrook areas selected for the first networks?
NHEC provides electric service to nearly all of Lempster and most of Colebrook, Stewartstown and Clarksville. These areas also had high numbers of members who did not have access to broadband internet. Working with our engineering and construction teams, we selected locations where new networks could be designed and constructed in the very tight time frame required under the Connecting NH Emergency Broadband Program.