DURHAM, N.H. -- Network New Hampshire Now (NNHN), a collaboration of public and private partners from across the state and led by the University of New Hampshire, was honored to learn it will receive $44.5 million in economic stimulus money to fund critically needed broadband expansion across the state. This grant will create nearly 700 new jobs and provide affordable Internet access to 12,000 businesses and 700 community institutions.
The proposal was submitted by UNH – on behalf of a team of partners brought together by the N.H. Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) – that was guided by the Governor’s Telecommunications Advisory Board (TAB) and the 2008 New Hampshire Broadband Action Plan. UNH was chosen to lead this effort as a result of years of management and technical leadership in bringing federal funding to the Granite State. The partners include the institutions of the University System of New Hampshire, New Hampshire Public Television, the Community College System of New Hampshire, New Hampshire FastRoads, West Central New Hampshire Network, Southwest Regional Planning Commission, Keene Municipal Broadband Committee, Monadnock Economic Development Corporation, New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority, the state departments of safety and transportation, the N.H. National Guard, and numerous broadband providers.
“This project is about long-term economic development,” said UNH President Mark W. Huddleston. “Residents, businesses, schools and health care providers in many New Hampshire communities have limited and expensive access. The availability and affordability of broadband supports job creation, and that benefits everyone in the state. Without it, businesses will locate elsewhere. UNH is proud to take the lead on this statewide initiative – with great support from Governor John Lynch, our entire congressional delegation and state legislators -- because we believe strongly that affordable Internet access should – and must – be readily available to all New Hampshire citizens.”
The $44.5 million grant will be matched with $22 million in private cash and in-kind funding. Network New Hampshire Now will expand broadband in all 10 counties in New Hampshire and also includes a wireless public safety network, connectivity for an intelligent transportation system, and last mile “fiber to the home” in two communities. The largest component is a middle mile fiber network that connects and supports the entire program, including connecting dozens of community anchor institutions – such as healthcare providers, community colleges, schools and libraries.
For more information, please visit http://networknhnow.org/