Tiny Chesterfield, home to 3,600 people between Keene, N.H., and Brattleboro, Vt., appears to be the first town in the state to take advantage of a new state law allowing municipal broadband internet.
The Brattleboro Reformer had this story in advance of the town meeting vote, giving details. A key point is that the fiber will be available only to Consolidated Communications:
There are other internet, phone and cable providers in Chesterfield, and they will continue to do business in town. Even though each home will have a fiber optic cable hookup, those other providers won’t have access to Consolidated’s infrastructure, said McKeon. Even if folks don’t sign up for Consolidated’s services, he said, everyone who has a landline phone in their home will be hooked up via the fiber optic cable.
Here’s the press release from Consolidated Communications, which owns the landline phone service in the three Northern New England states:
The town of Chesterfield, N.H., voted in a recent, public meeting to enter into a public-private partnership with the Company to build a high-speed, fiber-to-the-premises Internet network directly to all homes and businesses with no associated property tax increase. Fiber-to-the-premises technology offers faster, highly reliable, broadband connectivity.
“We were inspired by Chesterfield’s enthusiasm and willingness to work with us on a solution to improve and expand broadband services in their rural community,” said Rob Koester, vice president of consumer product at Consolidated Communications. “Consolidated Communications is excited to deliver high-speed broadband Internet service to residents and businesses in Chesterfield at speeds of up to 1 GigaBit per second.”
New Hampshire towns were given the authority to issue bonds for broadband infrastructure when the state passed Senate Bill 170, sponsored by Sen. Jay Kahn and Rep. John Bordenet, last year. The arrangement is the first of its kind in the state.
“Having this type of partnership with Consolidated Communications provides a rural town like ours with innumerable economic development and quality-of-life benefits and opportunities that will, undoubtedly, have a lasting impact,” said Brad Roscoe, a former town selectman who has been leading Chesterfield’s broadband initiatives.
Last year, the company completed a significant broadband upgrade project delivering faster speeds to 500,000 residents and small businesses throughout Northern New England including 140,000 upgrades across New Hampshire. Upgraded homes and businesses are now able to get speeds two to three times faster than what was previously available.
Customers can check to see if Consolidated Communications broadband services are available in their area by visiting https://www.consolidated.com/