PLYMOUTH, NH (July 8, 2020) – New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) announced today that it has applied to the State of New Hampshire for funding to expand high speed internet access to its members in Colebrook and Lempster.

NHEC is seeking funding for the two projects from the Connecting New Hampshire Emergency Broadband Expansion Program (Connecting NH Program). The Connecting NH Program is a $50 million state initiative funded through the CARES Act – Coronavirus Relief Fund aimed at expanding high speed internet access to areas of New Hampshire that do not have broadband internet service.

As part of its ongoing efforts to make affordable, reliable, high speed internet service available to all members, NHEC submitted two applications to support the construction of fiber optic networks, one in Colebrook, and the other in Lempster. NHEC’s proposal to build broadband networks in Colebrook and Lempster is contingent on receiving support from the Connecting NH Program.

In response to its members’ critical need for high speed internet service, NHEC’s Board of Directors has authorized the organization to take steps to ensure that all of its members have access to affordable, reliable, high speed internet. NHEC’s initial step towards that larger goal is to secure funding from the Connecting NH Program to support the construction of fiber optic networks in Colebrook and Lempster. 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 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,” said Jeff Morrill, Vice Chair of NHEC’s Board of Directors and Chair of the Co-op’s Broadband Committee.

“NHEC’s Board of Directors and the Broadband Committee have worked expeditiously to take steps to address our members’ broadband needs,” stated Tom Mongeon, Chair of NHEC’s Board of Directors. “We are hopeful as we begin our work towards the goal of ensuring all NHEC members have access to high speed internet. This work may take several years, but these applications are a start,” continued Mongeon.

New Hampshire expects to award grants from the Connecting NH Program by mid-July, and projects must be completed by December 2020. NHEC continues to pursue funding opportunities and strategic partnerships to achieve its goal of ensuring all its members have access to high speed internet.