With Arrival of Broadband At Last, Sandwich Celebrates a Milestone by NHEC | Oct 14, 2022 | Broadband, Uncategorized SANDWICH, NH – Throughout its modern history, the residents of Sandwich, NH could only hear the distant sound of the information superhighway as it passed them by. But with the start of NH Broadband fiber-optic internet service to town, they’ve got their own onramp and all the benefits it brings. Internet speeds up to 2 gigabits per second are now available to New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) members in Sandwich, thanks in large part to the persistent advocacy of its townspeople. The town played an important role in the drive to improve high-speed internet access in rural New Hampshire. Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sandwich Broadband Advisory Committee and town officials were lobbying for providers to do more to reach unserved and underserved residents. Richard Knox, a member of the Sandwich Broadband Advisory Committee and Chair of NH Broadband Advocates, called the start of fiber-optic broadband service to Sandwich “momentous.” “When a small group of frustrated Sandwich residents nudged NHEC toward getting into broadband, we had no notion that a pandemic would magnify the need. Or that rural broadband would become a bipartisan issue in Congress and our state,” Knox said. “We’re proud to think that we began something that will benefit many other rural communities.” For Joanne Haight, Chair of the Sandwich Select Board, the start of NH Broadband service in Sandwich is the realization of a community goal that was a long time in coming. “The work began in early 2019 and those of us involved thought the pathway to securing a fiber-optic network in a small, rural community of over 90 square miles was nearly impossible, but today it is here,” Haight said. “Thanks to the pioneering spirit of NHEC, NH Broadband and a resident-driven initiative, the town of Sandwich has access to a fast, affordable fiber-optic network.” NH Broadband, NHEC’s internet subsidiary, now serves NHEC members in six towns, and is currently expanding its fiber-optic networks to serve members in more than 30 towns in Grafton County, which has some of the highest concentrations of New Hampshire residents who lack access to high-speed internet. NHEC and its project partner, Conexon, continue to pursue federal and state grant funds to support the construction of fiber-optic networks in areas that lack high-speed options. Construction of the expansive fiber-optic network in Sandwich, which required the installation of 107 miles of fiber-optic lines, was supported in part by a $1.6 million grant secured by Congressman Chris Pappas. “We’re proud to have worked with our members in Sandwich to achieve this important milestone,” remarked Alyssa Clemsen Roberts, the President/CEO of NHEC and CEO of NH Broadband. “Broadband internet is no longer a luxury, it’s an essential service that NHEC is committed to providing to all our members who need it. We see the difference that reliable, high-speed internet makes in the life of a small community, and we can’t wait to see it repeated across the state as we reach more members.” To follow construction updates and service dates when they become available, please visit www.NHBroadband.com.