NH Delegation Announces $50 Million to Bring High-Speed Internet to NH Communities
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) announced $50 million of $122 million in federal funds to help bring high-speed internet access to the most rural parts of the state. The funding is estimated to serve 15,000 homes and businesses – representing approximately 50 percent of locations in New Hampshire that are still lacking high-speed internet.
“Broadband is essential for our everyday lives – from students learning in schools and parents teleworking to small businesses managing operations. Alarming disparities persist in access to reliable broadband, which is why serious investments in expanding digital connectivity are needed. I’m thrilled to see this funding from the American Rescue Plan reach the Granite State to expand essential broadband infrastructure,” said Senator Shaheen. “As a lead negotiator of broadband provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure bill that became law, I’ll keep building on that progress to secure continued resources until every community across our state has access to high-speed internet services.”
“Access to high-speed internet is a necessity,” said Senator Hassan. “From running a business or managing finances to attending telemedicine appointments, people rely on internet connectivity every day. Unfortunately, many rural areas in New Hampshire still don’t have reliable internet connections. That is why I worked to set up and secure this funding in the American Rescue Plan, so that every person has the opportunity to succeed and so that our state’s economy can thrive.”
“Access to high-speed internet is essential to compete and thrive in the 21st century,” said Rep. Pappas. “This initial round of funding will bring broadband for more than 15,000 New Hampshire households and small businesses who lack it, and more funding is on the way. I helped pass the American Rescue Plan and the bipartisan infrastructure law to make these investments in our communities and our future, and I will continue fighting to ensure everyone in New Hampshire can access high-speed internet.”
“Access to reliable, high-speed internet is essential for all Granite Staters – that’s why I am focused on closing the digital divide and ensuring every New Hampshire family and small business has access to the broadband services they need to thrive and fully participate in the 21st Century economy,” said Rep. Kuster, a member of the House Rural Broadband Task Force. “This funding, made possible by the American Rescue Plan, will help connect students, employees, and businesses and strengthen our state’s digital infrastructure. I will continue working to ensure every New Hampshire household has the broadband connections they need.”
The funding is from the Capital Projects Fund, which was created through the American Rescue Plan to support increased broadband adoption and access. In total, New Hampshire is set to receive over $222 million through the Capital Projects Fund and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The announcement marks the first of four states that the Treasury Department approved for funding. In New Hampshire, the state’s new Broadband Contract Program is designed to select and support a local internet service provider (ISP) to provide internet service to the most rural parts of the state lacking internet service. The program will prioritize applicants that encourage the maximum number of locations to be served at the lowest cost, and broadband networks that will be owned, operated by, or affiliated with local governments, non-profits, and co-operatives. All service providers will participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s new Affordable Connectivity Program, established and funded under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare, and more by providing a discount of up to $30 per month.
The New Hampshire Congressional Delegation previously announced $2.2 and $2.4 million in funding to New Hampshire to help connect students to high-speed internet at home through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. As a lead negotiator of the historic bipartisan infrastructure deal, Shaheen led bipartisan broadband negotiations with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and successfully secured $65 billion to support broadband affordability and deployment across the nation.