New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) has applied to the state for funding so they can expand high-speed internet access to its members in Colebrook and Lempster.
NHEC reports it is seeking funding for the two projects from the Connecting NH Emergency Broadband Expansion Program. The program is a $50 million initiative funded through the CARES Act (Coronavirus Relief Fund), which is aimed at expanding high-speed internet access to areas that do not have broadband internet.
NHEC’s proposal to build broadband networks in Colebrook and Lempster is contingent on receiving support from the Connecting NH Program. These projects would provide fiber to the premises (FTTP) with internet service options with 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) symmetrical upload and download speeds to NHEC members who are currently without broadband internet in the two towns.
“NHEC is excited to support the Governor’s broadband initiative, and we are looking forward to helping the communities we serve to achieve their economic potential. For the communities NHEC serves to remain vibrant, our members need to be able to fully participate in the digital economy. We believe this initiative is an important part of community building in our service territory,” says Jeff Morrill, vice-chair of NHEC’s board of directors and chair of the Co-op’s broadband committee.
The state has said it expects to award grants from the Connecting NH Program by mid-July, and projects must be completed by December 2020.