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Old 03-21-2020, 11:09 AM   #1
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Default NH Electric Coop Broadband Petition

Please Sign the NHEC Broadband Petition

Each May the New Hampshire Electric Coop holds an election for directors. NHEC bylaws allow questions proposed by member petition to be included on the ballot. This petition requests that a question be included on the 2020 ballot which specifically adds “facilitating access to broadband Internet for members" to NHEC’s charter.

Sign Petition Here

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, it was increasingly obvious that lack of affordable, high-speed internet in rural New Hampshire is a serious impediment to communities’ economic development, education, interpersonal and community communication, access to fast-growing telehealth services, and everyday quality of life.

The current pandemic crisis brings home as never before how vital broadband communication is. When in-person contacts, meetings, school sessions, medical appointments, and even visits to the library and restaurants grind to a halt, the Internet is the glue that holds society together.

That gives this petition drive special urgency. NHEC members have an opportunity to do something concrete and meaningful to address this pressing need. We need your signature, to help make reliable, affordable broadband an achievable goal for small towns that are currently under served as well as areas controlled by expensive cable monopolies.
Let us explain why this petition drive is necessary.

Fiber broadband developers will tell you the most difficult part of providing Internet service in rural areas is not the cost of the fiber but rather the uncertainties in getting permission to attach to utility poles and associated costs. With control of its poles and rights-of-way, NHEC is uniquely positioned to facilitate the development of fiber to the homes and businesses of its member-owners by providing certainty and predictability to the attachment process.

NHEC doesn’t need to finance, own or operate a fiber network to facilitate others to develop systems. It just needs to make attaching fiber to NHEC poles straightforward, predictable and affordable.

This amendment would explicitly state, in the foundational documents of the organization, that NHEC sees facilitating the development of broadband as part of its core mission. Since it is member owned, NHEC has an opportunity and obligation to go beyond the base regulatory requirements imposed by the Public Utility Commission. The Coop should proactively encourage broadband developers to service its members.

Over 100 electric cooperatives across the country are actively involved in facilitating affordable (+/-$60/month) high speed (+/-100 Mbps up/down) fiber to the home. Shouldn’t NHEC join those cooperatives? If you believe this, please sign this electronic petition to put the question on the ballot and Vote YES on the question when you receive your ballot from NHEC in your May electric bill.

Concerned NHEC Members
Sign Petition Here

PS: Please pass a link to this website along to other NHEC members or post it to message boards or Facebook pages frequented by NHEC members. We need a lot of signatures
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:17 AM   #2
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Signed...we do have Xfinity here but a more affordable option would be welcomed.
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:29 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Hillcountry View Post
Signed...we do have Xfinity here but a more affordable option would be welcomed.
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Old 03-21-2020, 11:35 AM   #4
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Me too! A great thing all around
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:32 PM   #5
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Me three
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:01 PM   #6
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I'm confused.

"NHEC doesn’t need to finance, own or operate a fiber network to facilitate others to develop systems. It just needs to make attaching fiber to NHEC poles straightforward, predictable and affordable."

NHEC already has fiber on its poles; not its fiber, but fiber from telephone, cable, companies, and probably some segments for wireless companies.

I built a new house, here, on Moultonboro Neck Rd., and had to pay for the two poles on my property for the electric service. On the poles with metal plate that states NHEC, not the phone company. I also have Spectrum's cable and the phone company's cable (Consolidated Consumer). Obviously, those poles are connected to infrastructure poles on the street. Fiber has been used for years by the phone companies and cable companies, and placed on poles in the "right-of-way". I can remember when I worked for Fairpoint, when they bought NH, ME, and VT from Verizon, the millions spent by Fairpoint to put out fiber on the poles, and replace copper.

Is this petition suggesting to have NHEC install fiber on poles, even though it cannot use fiber to service electricity to homes and business????


Shall the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative amend Article II of its Certificate of Organization dated 18 July 1939 by adding the words “including facilitating access to broadband internet for members” to make the amended article read as follows:

The purposes for which the Association is formed are to generate, purchase, transmit and distribute electrical energy and to render any and all other services in connection therewith including facilitating access to broadband internet for members as provided in Section 3-a of the “Co-operative Marketing Law”.

Does that exclude non-members?

COOP "laws" are meaningless, relative to state and federal law, not to mention the PUC .

The biggest problems I had with poles, was who is going to own ... phone company or NHEC. Phone company had to be chased to get poles here, but to be installed by NHEC. Had to be pay for the poles, and the copper wire ($22/ft.) to NHEC, and I still had to pay "lease" fees to the phone company for my landline.

I'm getting @ 325-350 Mbps from Spectrum for broadband. I canceled landline, and went back Voice-Over-IP for phone with Spectrum; much less costly. I purposely had the three lines, cable, phone, electric on the electric poles for possible future market competitions; e.g., Gfast for the present DSL which is too slow for my liking.

Need to keep an eye on wireless (fixed and mobile) and satellite broadband (not today's), as well, for competition.

Need poles and fiber ... time and markets will tell.

If the bylaws mention install electric lines only, what's wrong with that, at this time? That doesn't mean it can stop other companies from installing on the poles, when the public good requires it. State and federal laws make that happen, and have.
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Old 03-26-2020, 03:14 PM   #7
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Access to Utility Poles for FTTH Providers

47 U.S.C. § 224(d)(3). The Pole Attachment Act authorizes states to preempt federal regulation by electing to regulate pole attachments themselves, and 19 states have chosen this option. As of this writing (2013) the following states have elected to regulate pole attachments: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Washington.


Puc 1301.01 Purpose. The purpose of Puc 1300, pursuant to the mandate of RSA 374:34-a, is to ensure rates, charges, terms, and conditions for pole attachments that are nondiscriminatory, just, and reasonable. Nothing in this rule shall be construed to supersede, overrule, or replace any other law, rule, or regulation, including municipal and state authority over public highways pursuant to RSA 231:159, et seq

RSA 374:34-a Pole Attachments. –
I. In this subdivision, a "pole" means any pole, duct, conduit, or right-of-way that is used for wire communications or electricity distribution and is owned in whole or in part by a public utility, including a rural electric cooperative for which a certificate of deregulation is on file with the commission pursuant to RSA 301:57.

II. Whenever a pole owner is unable to reach agreement with a party seeking pole attachments, the commission shall regulate and enforce rates, charges, terms, and conditions for such pole attachments, with regard to the types of attachments regulated under 47 U.S.C. section 224, to provide that such rates, charges, terms, and conditions are just and reasonable. This authority shall include but not be limited to the state regulatory authority referenced in 47 U.S.C. section 224(c).

IV. In exercising its authority under this subdivision, the commission shall consider the interests of the subscribers and users of the services offered via such attachments, as well as the interests of the consumers of any pole owner providing such attachments.

V. Nothing in this subdivision shall prevent parties from entering into pole attachment agreements voluntarily, without commission approval.

VII. The commission shall have the authority to hear and resolve complaints concerning rates, charges, terms, conditions, voluntary agreements, or any denial of access relative to pole attachments.
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