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Old 10-05-2020, 02:11 PM   #1
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Default Attention nhec members: Vote for broadband before 10/14

If you’ve already voted to unleash your Co-op to get into the broadband business, thank you! If two-thirds of voting members join you, NHEC will go forward with its ambitious goal to provide fast, affordable internet service to thousands of members who now lack it.

A YES vote will change the utility’s bylaws, authorizing its board of directors to make investments in broadband infrastructure.

If you haven’t cast your vote, it’s not too late – but time is short. Voting ends at midnight on October 14.

If you meant to vote but can’t find your mailed ballot, call this number and ask for a replacement: 952-974-2339. You can also email NHEC’s election vendor, SBS, at support@directvote.net

Your replacement ballot will contain a unique identifier code that will allow you to vote online at www.nhec.com/broadband

And if you want more info on the proposed bylaws change, here’s a link to a recent virtual “town hall” meeting in which Co-op CEO Steve Camerino answered members’ call-in questions: https://www.nhec.com/broadband-nhec-...t-our-members/

Results will be announced October 20.

During this pandemic and beyond, this is an important opportunity to get everybody connected. Don’t miss it!
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Old 10-05-2020, 07:34 PM   #2
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Default A word to the wise

Before you vote, be sure you have all the information you need. There was a Carroll County Broadband Committee meeting today. What happened, does anyone know?
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Old 10-05-2020, 08:14 PM   #3
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-YOPXY8L4s
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Old 10-05-2020, 08:35 PM   #4
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Default We are skeptics

We are questioning the Coop’s ability to bring the broadband project to fruition without raising the electric rates, which are already some of the highest in the nation, and you can correct me if that’s wrong. Last winter, when our entire first floor was damaged by a flood, our electric rates skyrocketed because the demolition crew needed to use fans and the electric heat. We understood the necessity for all that...after all, it was abnormally high usage, but the electric bill for one month was $ ONE THOUSAND-NINETY-TWO DOLLARS and some odd cents! That was almost unbelievable! Ours is not a large house by any means, and we were floored by the amount. So was Allstate.
We want to be fair, but we have reason to submit a NO vote on the broadband project.
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Old 10-05-2020, 09:13 PM   #5
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Default How many KWs

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We are questioning the Coop’s ability to bring the broadband project to fruition without raising the electric rates, which are already some of the highest in the nation, and you can correct me if that’s wrong. Last winter, when our entire first floor was damaged by a flood, our electric rates skyrocketed because the demolition crew needed to use fans and the electric heat. We understood the necessity for all that...after all, it was abnormally high usage, but the electric bill for one month was $ ONE THOUSAND-NINETY-TWO DOLLARS and some odd cents! That was almost unbelievable! Ours is not a large house by any means, and we were floored by the amount. So was Allstate.
We want to be fair, but we have reason to submit a NO vote on the broadband project.
Just curious how many Kw hours were used that month vs in a normal month.


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Old 10-05-2020, 09:42 PM   #6
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Just curious how many Kw hours were used that month vs in a normal month.


Dave
January 2020 usage was 6341 kWh vs. 455 kWh, the usual average......huge difference!
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Old 10-05-2020, 11:29 PM   #7
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January 2020 usage was 6341 kWh vs. 455 kWh, the usual average......huge difference!
An absolute huge difference but what would the actual charges be if you had electric service from another provider (not NHEC) ?

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Old 10-06-2020, 08:52 AM   #8
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This whole thing makes little sense to me. Why would the coop who is NOT a broadband carrier take on the costs of putting in the infrastructure backbone for broad band access? If it were a matter of a broadband provider wanting access to real estate on the NHEC poles that would be a different story since this would actually not cost the coop anything, in fact could turn into a revenue stream if they actually charged for such use.

What many fail to realize is that there is a really good reason why hard wired broadband is not available in rural areas. The costs are not conducive for running hard media and maintaining it for a handful of customers that are geographically dispersed. The fact this is even being considered IMHO is so short sighted in that technology in the wireless space continues to advance and at some point that will be the media of choice. As it is 4G cellular is not bad. 5G will bring speeds that rival broad band and it would be far more beneficial for that to be the media of choice versus fiber optic. Even so the costs to install this stuff an maintain it becomes cost prohibitive in areas of thin population as there is simply not enough customer base to spread the costs out and keep them reasonable.
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:58 AM   #9
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It's been about six months since I tried this but can't you still get free wifi access using a laptop while inside your car at any McDonaid's Restaurant parking lot in the lakes region, Tilton, Laconia, Meredith & Plymouth, without buying anything to eat, or go inside for a 94-cent, age-60 senior cup of coffee.

Plus, the local public libraries in Meredith, Center Harbor, Laconia, and Plymouth all have desktop 'puters, and the very well designed six seat wooden 'puter table with slide-out 'puter drawers at the Plymouth Public Library was built by inmates at the Concord State Prison where they probably do not have internet use in their prison.
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Old 10-06-2020, 10:02 AM   #10
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Default Makes little to no sense

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This whole thing makes little sense to me. Why would the coop who is NOT a broadband carrier take on the costs of putting in the infrastructure backbone for broad band access? If it were a matter of a broadband provider wanting access to real estate on the NHEC poles that would be a different story since this would actually not cost the coop anything, in fact could turn into a revenue stream if they actually charged for such use.

What many fail to realize is that there is a really good reason why hard wired broadband is not available in rural areas. The costs are not conducive for running hard media and maintaining it for a handful of customers that are geographically dispersed. The fact this is even being considered IMHO is so short sighted in that technology in the wireless space continues to advance and at some point that will be the media of choice. As it is 4G

cellular is not bad. 5G will bring speeds that rival broad band and it would be far more beneficial for that to be the media of choice versus fiber optic. Even so the costs to install this stuff an maintain it becomes cost prohibitive in areas of thin population as there is simply not enough customer base to spread the costs out and keep them reasonable.
Your points are well taken, IMO. The costs for this endeavor sound prohibitive, especially given the widely dispersed population. For example: Sandwich, lovely and charming, but think about delivering broadband throughout that entire area...very spread out....and they need broadband, but at what cost to all NHEC’s customers? I think that’s a legitimate question.

FYI: do a Google search of starlink.
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Old 10-06-2020, 12:32 PM   #11
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Default Read then vote

Here we go with round 2 of this discussion. NHEC lays out its plans pretty well at https://www.nhec.com/broadband/

The vote is to let the board rapidly take advantage of federal and state funds that will be made available over the course of the next few years. A no vote means their hands are tied and probably can't get the grants. In the last round of funding, few towns (and none in Carroll county) were able to take advantage of the CARE funds. NHEC wants to be ready for the next round.

Broadband has become a bipartisan goal, so the funding spigots will flow. Covid has shown a lot of businesses that they don't need all their workers at the office. We've also seen a gap in education to those without access to high-speed internet or can't afford it. It has to be done, the question is how to pay to get 100% coverage and which companies will do the job.

I've seen nothing in the NHEC plans that indicate the cost of supplying fiber will raise electric rates. I believe that is speculation. NHEC states that rates might even come down, since there could be profits from its new venture, especially when the infrastructure buildout is funded by government grants.

NHEC has the poles, the staff, the trucks and transformers on properties where communications gear could go. Nobody else except the phone and cable companies could help get fiber to the home at less money. The phone and cable companies have taken infrastructure funds for decades and yet have little to show for it except profits. That is why were are where we are today. The incumbent providers and people with ties to them are better at fighting progress than building it.

The CCBC meeting (which I attended) had politicians attend from state and federal offices and people from both parties. Some of the discussions, especially from Jeb Bradley, showed the bipartisan agreement. The CCBC goal is to eventually create a county wide communication district that towns could join, but this won't have an impact until at least 2022. A new communications district could apply for grants where towns have failed, but with a yes vote, NHEC could also apply for the grants, and earlier.

A presentation at the CBCC meeting showed that Sandwich, Hart's Location, Chatham, Brookfield, Eaton, Tamworth and Ossipee are in the most need of rapid expansion, but every town has at least pockets of slow or unavailable internet service. Cellular (4G/5G) coverage is often poor in these same spots and data caps limit how much the circuit can be used.

I recommend that people read the broadband info on the NHEC site, and encourage people to vote yes. There will be opportunities to put constraints on NHEC plans in the future it it looks like it will be a financial mess. I believe that to stop NHEC before it can get started is to vote to throttle the future economy of the lakes region.
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Old 10-06-2020, 04:57 PM   #12
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NHEC has the poles, the staff, the trucks and transformers on properties where communications gear could go. Nobody else except the phone and cable companies could help get fiber to the home at less money. The phone and cable companies have taken infrastructure funds for decades and yet have little to show for it except profits. That is why were are where we are today. The incumbent providers and people with ties to them are better at fighting progress than building it.
The incumbent providers are well aware it is NOT profitable thus are not doing it. It doesn't matter if the feds are offering grants or not, it's all tax payer money that is subsidizing something that is basically a waste of money no matter where it comes from.

Again, as 5G expands that is the way forward not running hard fiber. It goes to show that those that are pushing this stuff are completely ignorant to up and coming technology some of which is a far better solution in the long run.
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Old 10-06-2020, 06:09 PM   #13
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Default Seabrook remembered....

We shouldn’t forget “Seabrook”, which was to provide nuclear energy, making electricity inexpensive. Thousands of houses went up, including ours, with electric heat, which is pretty pricey. We now use it as backup only, but all NHEC customers have spent decades paying “stranded costs” in their monthly electric bill , incurred by the sub-par Seabrook endeavor. Let’s not make that mistake again!
A suggestion worth repeating: do a Google search on starlink. Evidently, Elon Musk launched 60 satellites this morning. This technology makes Coop plan resemble an expensive bandaid. JMO.
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Old 10-06-2020, 07:27 PM   #14
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The so-called Plan:

Not the CO-OP … the directors.

Why is NHEC working to provide members with broadband internet service?
NHEC is exploring options to ensure our members have access to this essential service.

What is NHEC doing to expand broadband access to its members?
NHEC is actively working with strategic partners to identify grant opportunities and different pathways the Co-op can pursue to help ensure all member have access to affordable, reliable, high speed internet.

Wasn’t there just a vote on broadband, why is NHEC holding another one?
The change in the bylaws would allow NHEC to pursue these options with approval from either the Board of Directors or by a member vote, depending upon the details of the opportunity.

Why do the bylaws need to be changed?
The proposed bylaw amendments will enable NHEC to move quickly and pursue local, state, and federal grants or partnerships.

How will NHEC be providing high speed internet service to its members?
The Board of Directors is considering different approaches on how best to achieve this goal.

Will these efforts to expand broadband increase the price I pay for electricity?
NHEC’s Board of Directors is evaluating different approaches to provide broadband service to all members.

How long will it take before every NHEC member has access to broadband?
NHEC’s Board of Directors is evaluating different options to providing broadband service to all members. It could take several years before we achieve our goal.

When can I sign up for broadband service?
NHEC is evaluating different options on how to best ensure all our members have access to affordable, reliable, high speed internet.

Will these efforts impact my electric service?
NHEC members will continue to receive the same high level of electricity service.

Why can’t another company provide broadband services?

Unlike for-profit telecommunications companies, NHEC is a member-owned, non-profit cooperative.

What type of internet service is NHEC considering offering to its members?

Specific service offerings still need to be developed, ...

The vote should be for a recall of the directors. Rumor has it there's a bridge for sale in Brooklyn, as well!

https://www.nhec.com/broadband/

The CCBC meeting was a 2+ hour joke. Where are we ... where are we...???

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-YOPXY8L4s
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Old 10-07-2020, 12:53 PM   #15
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Report: Postal Service Facilities Could Support Rural Broadband
"At a time when U.S. Postal Service revenues are in decline and some have questioned its future viability, the organization is looking for ways to monetize or to enhance the value its assets – and some of those assets could play a role in supporting broadband deployment in unserved rural areas, according to a new report from the U.S. Postal Service."

"Postal Service Rural Broadband Options
As for rural broadband, the report envisions USPS facilities being used as neutral antenna colocation sites for fixed wireless and as fiber optic cable connection points. In addition, they might act as “digital hubs,” providing a central location for public connectivity to Wi-Fi and might house kiosks to support telehealth or to enable low-income residents to sign up for discounted communications through the FCC Lifeline program.

"Another suggested use of rural USPS facilities is to provide antennas for FirstNet or other public safety networks." etc.


https://www.telecompetitor.com/repor...ral-broadband/

https://cloudandfibre.co.uk/what-is-gfast/

https://www.adtran.com/index.php/bro...-access/g-fast

Hey ... why just NHEC ... let's expand and include the post office ...

Fiber cable only ... why?! ... FTTP ... FTTH ... FTTX ... advanced fixed wireless ...

I'm done!
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Old 10-07-2020, 06:12 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by longislander View Post
Report: Postal Service Facilities Could Support Rural Broadband
"At a time when U.S. Postal Service revenues are in decline and some have questioned its future viability, the organization is looking for ways to monetize or to enhance the value its assets – and some of those assets could play a role in supporting broadband deployment in unserved rural areas, according to a new report from the U.S. Postal Service."

"Postal Service Rural Broadband Options
As for rural broadband, the report envisions USPS facilities being used as neutral antenna colocation sites for fixed wireless and as fiber optic cable connection points. In addition, they might act as “digital hubs,” providing a central location for public connectivity to Wi-Fi and might house kiosks to support telehealth or to enable low-income residents to sign up for discounted communications through the FCC Lifeline program.

"Another suggested use of rural USPS facilities is to provide antennas for FirstNet or other public safety networks." etc.


https://www.telecompetitor.com/repor...ral-broadband/

https://cloudandfibre.co.uk/what-is-gfast/

https://www.adtran.com/index.php/bro...-access/g-fast

Hey ... why just NHEC ... let's expand and include the post office ...

Fiber cable only ... why?! ... FTTP ... FTTH ... FTTX ... advanced fixed wireless ...

I'm done!
This would be a great source of revenue for the USPS but I have the sinking feeling that by the time that Regulators allow it the Postal Service may only be a shadow of it's former self.......
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Old 10-07-2020, 07:00 PM   #17
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The incumbent providers are well aware it is NOT profitable thus are not doing it. It doesn't matter if the feds are offering grants or not, it's all tax payer money that is subsidizing something that is basically a waste of money no matter where it comes from.

Again, as 5G expands that is the way forward not running hard fiber. It goes to show that those that are pushing this stuff are completely ignorant to up and coming technology some of which is a far better solution in the long run.
Even 4G is pretty sparse around the lakes. Don't look at just download speed (which isn't bad in SOME places). You need reasonable upload speeds too, which is dismal in a lot of places. Especially in COVID times with a lot of work from home and Video Conferencing.

Like you are arguing, it will be a decade before you see 5G with good coverage in the lakes area to make financial sense based on population density. Same argument applies.
Also 5G will need a LOT more towers.

Broadband or 5G probably needs to be subsidized to some extent.

I looked into a using a MiFi Modem (basically uses 4G) for cottage service but upload speeds of 0.5 Mbps just won't cut it. Download was 12 Mbps. 4G was worse in most locations than this particular location.
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Old 10-08-2020, 10:32 AM   #18
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I have voted in favor of this bylaw change. Now that I have read that the intention is to provide broadband service to ALL co-op members, I am on board. (FWIW, I own two properties in NHEC territory.)

I am not bothered by any creation of a for-profit subsidiary (as mentioned in another thread), this is a common structure for co-ops of all kinds. Any profits are retained by the membership. I am in favor of competition, and of having a broadband provider whose sole purpose is to provide me with service, as I am the shareholder.
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Old 10-08-2020, 03:42 PM   #19
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I voted in favor. The NHEC is a terrific group compared to the electric companies in Mass. Plus it's a nonprofit. Their only incentive is to provide better service to co-op members, broadband is a very profitable business, and they have a ton of the infrastructure already in place.
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Old 10-08-2020, 05:45 PM   #20
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I voted in favor. The NHEC is a terrific group compared to the electric companies in Mass. Plus it's a nonprofit. Their only incentive is to provide better service to co-op members, broadband is a very profitable business, and they have a ton of the infrastructure already in place.
Be careful of nonprofit organizations. A common misconception is that nonprofits have artificially low expenses.

Low expenses can be thrown out the door if salaries and operating costs are out of line.....
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Old 10-09-2020, 11:24 AM   #21
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Be careful of nonprofit organizations. A common misconception is that nonprofits have artificially low expenses.

Low expenses can be thrown out the door if salaries and operating costs are out of line.....
That's true. But we do not have any evidence that NHEC has unusually high expenses. People should just decide if they basically trust NHEC compared to other utilities. Personally, I do trust them--all the interactions I've had have suggest that they are good folks. This is very different than interactions I've had with most utilities. I expect this to pass, and I expect to buy faster, cheaper internet than I am getting today.
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