Last week members of New Hampshire Electric Cooperative came very close to changing the structure of the group so that it would provide high-speed internet over fiber-optic cables as well as electricity over copper wires.

This week the NHEC Board of Directors voted unanimously to create a new separate entity “to pursue funding opportunities and further the goal of providing high speed internet access to its members” and, more importantly, to give it a million bucks.

From a press release: “The entity will be charged with pursuing federal, state and local funding opportunities, and developing strategic partnerships with the singular goal of bringing high speed internet access to NHEC’s members.”

The Board also agreed to fund the new entity with up to $1 million in initial capital to support the initiative, and appointed Jeff Morrill, vice chair of NHEC’s Board of Directors. to spearhead the effort.

NHEC, headquartered in Plymouth, has about 84,000 customers in 115 communities throughout the state. Most of the service area is rural. Because it’s not a regulated utility it has more flexibility than Eversource, Unitil or Liberty, the state’s other electricity providers.

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