Hello folks! Here is the latest on broadband for Acworth.
Our Acworth Broadband Committee (ABC) has laid out all our broadband options with an assessment of cost, schedule, quality of service, reliability, installation effort, etc. We are close to a recommendation to the Planning Board and Selectmen. We are heavily leaning towards the NHEC solution. Due to the following:
Competitive pricing model
Immediate (this year) schedule to start work
Covers 100% of Acworth
State of the art network that will have a high level of reliability
Competitive initial speed/capacity offerings up to 1gb/1gb (we are currently offered 3/1mb, 7/1mb and at most 10/1mb via Consolidated’ s DSL. We are talking about a low end of a 150% increase in speed up to a 9,000% increase possible)
NHEC will own the hardware on the poles so there are no additional operational costs to the town.
We also issued out Requests for Information (RFI’s) as required if we were to go down the path of our neighbors which is a bond and contract with Consolidated. The RFI has a mandatory waiting period of 60 days, which is due mid-May. (NOTE: Langdon, Charlestown, Unity and Goshen have all decided to go with a bond and contract with Consolidated. Alstead has no option available to them. They must stay with their current mix of vendor options. Marlow’s town meeting is scheduled for late April.) It is likely that we will not pursue this process any further than the RFI’s given that we are leaning heavily with the NHEC solution.
I am working directly with NHEC's implementation manager and the vice chair for their newly formed (2020) broadband branch of NHEC. They are required to begin their work this year and because 95% of Acworth was covered by the grant they won and because they already started with 200 homes in Lempster, they have prioritized Lempster and Acworth to be the first of the 20+ communities that they are to provide broadband too.
NHEC will start work this spring and rollout to some home will occur this year with the balance completing in first 2 quarters of 2022. We do not have a detailed schedule from them yet. I just pinged them on again this week. I am trying to nail them down on a more definitive schedule.
I also asked them to describe how we will be able to track their progress. Consolidated has a slick website dashboard they use. I am hoping NHEC will be the same.
Please check out our FAQ’s for answers to questions regarding cost, who will be offered the service, who will provide phone service and many more topics by clicking here: Broadband Committee FAQs
I will provide an update towards the end of April or as soon as I hear anything from NHEC. Looking forward to faster, more reliable internet in our future!!
Project Lead – Acworth Broadband Committee
Up Coming Meetings
· Define options, costs and benefits of establishing broadband in Acworth
· Obtain approval of Planning Board, Board of Selectman and Town (via 2 town meetings, 2 mandatory public hearings and one warrant article)
· ** Solicit and obtain proposals from vendors (2 primary, NHEC, Consolidated)
· ** Obtain bonds (if required)
· ** Contract with Vendor (if required)
· ** Oversee production rollout
** Pending approvals and dependent on the option we proceed with
FAQs Click here
Alstead Broadband Information - https://www.alsteadnh.org/broadband-committee
FCC Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I Results - https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/rdof-phase-i-dec-2020/
FCC Rural Digital Fund Announcement - https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-368588A1.pdf
NHEC Broadband Announcement - https://www.nhec.com/broadband/
NH Municipal Bond Bank - http://www.nhmbb.org/index.php/loan-program/bonding-program
Link to show NHEC your interest in broadband service - http://www.nhec.com/BROADBAND-INTEREST/