New Hampshire is All-In for Broadband
Friday, September 9, 2022
New Hampshire is All-In for Broadband
You’re reading the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society’s Weekly Digest, a recap of the biggest (or most overlooked) broadband stories of the week. The digest is delivered via e-mail each Friday.
Round-Up for the Week of September 5-9, 2022
Broadband is the future of New Hampshire, we reported in June as the state was one of the first to win approval from the U.S. Treasury for plans to use Capital Projects Fund support to extend the reach of broadband networks. On September 8, we learned that New Hampshire is once again leading the way—now it is the first state to gain approval for a second wave of Capital Projects Fund support. New Hampshire's plans are designed to connect 80% of locations in the state still lacking high-speed internet access.
In June we learned of New Hampshire's Broadband Contract Program, which offers broadband service providers a financial incentive to bring service to unserved and underserved addresses in the state—areas/addresses where it may be financially detrimental for providers to attempt to expand. At the time, New Hampshire hoped that the Broadband Contract Program could connect half of the state's unserved locations with $50 million (40%) of the state's Capital Projects Fund allotment.
This week Treasury approved New Hampshire’s second plan to invest in broadband infrastructure to provide high-speed internet to locations that lack access to adequate service. In total, New Hampshire is using $122 million—100% of its Capital Projects Fund funding—for broadband infrastructure to reach an estimated 24,000 locations, or 80% of locations still lacking high-speed internet access in the state. In total, New Hampshire's plans for Capital Projects Fund support will help connect more than 24,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet.
New Hampshire is launching a second program, the Broadband Matching Grant Initiative, a competitive grant program designed to fund broadband infrastructure projects to bring high-speed internet to areas currently lacking service of 100/20 Mbps. The Broadband Matching Grant Initiative was created by the New Hampshire legislature (the General Court of New Hampshire, if you're scoring at home) in 2021. The New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs worked with the legislature to modify the initiative this year to increase the match to 75 percent and make the law compatible with Capital Projects Fund requirements. Currently, legislature is considering the program's rules and the application process, a decision could come sometime this fall.
- Valuing Rural Minority Communities: Inclusive Growth, Broadband, and Leadership (Brookings)
- NDIA Awards 18 National Digital Navigator Corps Grants in Rural & Tribal Areas
- Can State, Local Government Use Broadband Expansion to Create Jobs? (Government Technology)
Weekend Reads (resist tl;dr)
- FCC Announces Start of Fabric Bulk Challenge Process (see also Another Step Toward Better Broadband Maps)
- Biden Administration Releases Implementation Strategy for $50 Billion CHIPS for America program (Dept of Commerce)
- Five Principles for Spectrum Policy: A Primer for Policymakers (Information Technology and Innovation Foundation)
- Funding to Bridge the Digital Divide: U.S. Philanthropic Giving to Digital Equity Causes (Connect Humanity)
ICYMI from Benton
- North Dakota is Expanding Broadband's Reach with Capital Projects Fund
- Arkansas Uses Capital Projects Fund to Connect Rural Areas
- Capital Projects Fund Helps Build Nebraska's Broadband Bridge
- Capital Projects Fund Helps Link Indiana to the World
- Broadband is Key to Connecticut's Future
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities Play a Key Role in States' Digital Equity Plans
Sep 13—Creating Connections Conference (Network:On)
Sep 14—Letter of Intent Learnings & Best Practices - Session 1 (Colorado Broadband Office)
Sep 15—Technological Advisory Council Meeting (FCC)
Sep 15—Letters of Intent Learnings & Best Practices - Session 2 (Colorado Broadband Office)
Sep 19––Spectrum Policy Symposium (NTIA)
Sep 20—Broadband Solutions and Recent Insights: What We’ve Learned This Year (LightBox)
Sep 22—40th Annual Parker Lecture & Awards Ceremony (United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry)
Sep 24—Capital Projects Fund Grant Plan Deadline (Department of Treasury)
Sep 24—ACP Sign Up Day (Black Churches 4 Digital Equity)
Sep 25-28—The Right Connection (CENIC)
Sep 26—Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo (US Ignite)
Sep 28—Local Coordination in NOFOs (NTIA)
The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people in the U.S. have access to competitive, High-Performance Broadband regardless of where they live or who they are. We believe communication policy - rooted in the values of access, equity, and diversity - has the power to deliver new opportunities and strengthen communities.
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