NHEC Wins $50 Million Grant to Expand Rural Broadband by NHEC | Oct 19, 2022 | Broadband, UncategorizedPLYMOUTH, NH (October 19, 2022) – New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) has been awarded a $50 million grant to expand its fiber-optic broadband internet service to more than 23,000 homes, businesses and municipalities in 73 New Hampshire towns. The grant, awarded by the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA) following a competitive bid process, is part of $221 million in federal funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act to expand broadband access in New Hampshire. “This is great news for the thousands of NHEC members who’ve had to make do with slow internet service, or in some cases, no service at all,” said NHEC President/CEO Alyssa Clemsen Roberts. “NHEC is a member-owned, nonprofit electric cooperative and our business is providing essential services to rural New Hampshire. We welcome the opportunity to provide much-needed high-speed internet to the same areas that NHEC first electrified more than 80 years ago. Grant funding is helpful to our plans to reach all underserved members, and we are grateful for the trust placed in us by the BEA to get the job done.” NHEC and its partners have already begun pre-construction work in Grafton County, where fiber-optic networks will be built in the coming months to serve NHEC members in 32 towns. It marks the largest expansion to date in NHEC’s efforts to make high-speed internet available to underserved parts of the state. Through its subsidiary, NH Broadband, NHEC has built fiber-optic networks providing high-speed internet service to residents in Acworth, Clarksville, Colebrook, Lempster, Sandwich and Stewartstown. Grant funds awarded by the BEA will enable the construction of additional fiber-optic networks to serve members in parts of Grafton, Belknap, Carroll, Coos, Sullivan and Merrimack counties. NH Broadband’s fiber-optic networks can provide upload and download speeds in excess of 2 Gigabits per second to meet NHEC’s members’ needs today and into the future. NHEC has partnered with rural fiber-optic construction leader Conexon to provide a comprehensive range of services including network design, construction project management, engineering, and operations support. Additionally, through its internet service provider subsidiary, Conexon Connect, the company is also providing services including customer sign-ups, installations, billing, technical support and access to multi-gigabit speed packages. In this early stage of planning, service availability dates are not yet available for Grafton County towns, or towns located in other counties. A full schedule of towns and areas to be served will be made available as construction plans are confirmed. However, all NHEC members can go online now at www.NHBroadband.com to select a speed package and express their interest in receiving service. NH Broadband will be in direct contact with members when expected service dates by town are established. About NHEC & NH Broadband NHEC is a member-led electric distribution cooperative serving 86,000 homes and businesses in 118 New Hampshire communities. Learn more at www.NHEC.com. NH Broadband was founded in 2020 to provide high-speed internet access to all NHEC members who lack it. Since then, NH Broadband has built fiber-optic networks and is currently serving members in Acworth Colebrook, Stewartstown, Clarksville, Lempster and Sandwich. Follow construction updates and learn more at www.NHBroadband.com.