Consolidated Communications has completed new, high-speed, fiber-to-the-premises broadband networks to homes and businesses in the New Hampshire towns of Danbury, Errol, Mason and Springfield. More than 500 miles of fiber were constructed, serving more than 2,000 residents and businesses.
In August, Consolidated was awarded $3.5 million from the state’s Connecting New Hampshire Emergency Broadband Expansion Program to bring enhanced and upgraded Internet services to these towns. Grants awarded through the program support the increased need for Internet connectivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the emphasis on distance learning, telework, telehealth and other remote services. The grant awarded to Consolidated - along with the company’s own investment of $1.5 million - funded the broadband projects.
“Access to high-speed Internet is critical and with the continued support of our state and federal partners, we will connect even more residences and businesses,” said Rob Koester, senior vice president, consumer product management at Consolidated Communications.
For towns like Mason, the network build-outs were timely, with many residents continuing to work remotely and schools transitioning to virtual learning.
“When our schools went entirely remote a few weeks ago, there were numerous families with concerns, especially those without any Internet options besides high-latency, data-capped satellite,” said Bill Schongar, chair of the Mason Broadband Committee. “Knowing fast and affordable Internet services would soon be available to them was the best holiday gift they could ask for.”
Consolidated recently announced plans to upgrade 300,000 locations in 2021 as part of its accelerated fiber build plan, which includes Northern New England. The availability of gigabit speeds will boost economic development, e-commerce and quality-of-life for hundreds of thousands of people and communities across the region.