Bristol, a 3,000-person town halfway between the Lakes Region and Hanover, is connecting many of its homes to a fiber network, using money from the pandemic’s CARES Act – the Union-Leader has a story here. I wrote about its early stirrings in 2018.
I’ve been writing about efforts to bring internet, and more recently broadband, to rural New Hampshire for most of my career in the state. (Here’s a 2013 story about a company whose business model was based on stringing those cables.) Network NH Now built various backbone loops to make it easier for communities to hook into the system, but the expense of last-mile (or even middle-mile) connections have made it tough. The legislature’s blockage of municipal broadband, based on “government shouldn’t compete with private business” thinking, has been a real obstacle.
Tiny Mason (about 750 homes), one of the most rural towns in southern New Hampshire, also got CARES Act money to put in fiber-to-the-home – Monadnock Ledger-Transcript story is here.
Enfield (pop. 4,500) is getting wired up via a Mass. startup called Hub66 – Valley News story is here – as Upper Valley IP works on its rollout in the town of Lyme (pop. 1,850) – Valley News story about that one is here.
And as I’ve reported several times, the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative has added broadband to its mission and is hooking up homes, starting in tiny Lempster (best known for hosting the state’s first wind farm) – here’s a December story.
UPDATE: I forgot Springfield (1,300 people – tiny!), as a reader pointed out. Story is here.
Do you have recommendations of where to start to get high speed internet to Etna, NH?
Not that I know of – call your town clerk. Town clerks know everything.
Hi Dave –
Don’t forget about Springfield NH. We were part way through a bonding effort to fund fiber for our town when the CARES Act came through. Now most of the fiber is in place on the streets, and individual homes are being hooked up every day by Consolidated Communications and their team of subcontractors.
I missed that – I’ve added an update, thanks.
Fiber (and cable) will eventually be replaced by satellite (“squirt the bird” as the proponents say) but in the meantime the real nut to crack for fiber is legislation to enable service providers to share the fiber and create competition so consumers can choose the service that meets their needs and budget.
Can’t wait until I can finally get gigabit fiber in Moultonborough like I can get in Mass, the fiber is so close but yet no telecom company will extend it the half mile from the end of my street to my house. Hopefully there’s some more interest in my area for an ISP like Hub66 to come and hook me up.