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Old 09-17-2020, 06:03 PM   #1
Twags
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Default Nhec members: We need your vote one more time!

In April-May, many of you signed a petition asking the Co-op to alter its bylaws, adding “facilitating broadband” to its mission. As you may recall, that initiative drew more than 64 percent support in the Co-op’s annual election — just 183 votes short of the needed 2/3 super-majority. Even so, the NHEC board heard you loud and clear, and immediately decided to get into the broadband business.

Now we’re asking for your help to keep this important venture going.

You may have received in the mail, or soon will, a ballot for a special election called by the NHEC. It asks if you’ll authorize its board to make necessary decisions to set up the company’s new broadband venture and own the required infrastructure. As before, this change in the utility’s bylaws needs approval by 2/3 of those voting.

The Co-op’s board voted unanimously to support the change, and the grassroots member group that got the ball rolling urges you to vote YES.

Much has changed in recent months. Governor Sununu set up a fund that has awarded $14 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to expand high-speed internet to 17 towns. Under this program, the Co-op is in the process of setting up projects in Colebrook and Lempster.

This is only the beginning. The Co-op aims to expand broadband to all its members who currently lack it. (Broadband is defined as a download speed of at least 25 megabits-per-second and an upload speed of at least 3 Mbps.) This would have a bracing effect on overall broadband competition in the state — even for non-NHEC members — because the Co-op, as a nonprofit, could offer favorable pricing.

Meanwhile, billions more in federal funding for rural broadband is already in the pipeline or being considered by Congress, with bipartisan support. The coronavirus pandemic has underscored how vital this service is for remote work and schooling, telehealth and business development. This is especially important for New Hampshire, where nearly 40 percent of the population live in rural communities.

So please look out for your special election ballot. You can mail it back to NHEC or vote online at www.nhec.com/broadband. Your ballot will have a unique identifying number for online voting. The election closes at midnight on October 14, with results to be announced on October 20.

It would be a shame if all the good work and real progress of the past few months were stymied by failure of the proposed bylaws amendment. So please, raise your voice once again and vote YES for broadband expansion.
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Old 09-18-2020, 07:28 AM   #2
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Default Vote Yes to Fiber everywhere

Hopefully this happens. In Moultonboro, more than half the town has cable, but there are pockets of homes that are stuck with the phone company's DSL internet. DSL is always below the standard definition of "served", which is 25x3 Mbps. The town has communication infrastructure funds to spend, but it is hard to find good solutions. There are fixed wireless carriers using cell towers to radio to homes and some companies are offering fiber to the home, but not in a coordinated way. Running new fiber along poles is quoted at $33,000 per mile, which would deplete the town's funds quickly.

One unserved neighborhood is paying the phone company to bring fiber to their homes. It will cost each customer $200/month for 100 Mbps speed. A great example of the saying, "You can buy better, but you can't pay more". Having the power company string fiber along with their electric wires would at least get the infrastructure in place to bring everyone up to speed. Today, cable speeds are OK, but upload speeds are limited. If the phone company and cable company won't invest in fiber to the home, the power company is a logical choice.

It isn't clear to me if the NHEC will own just the fiber backbone and sell bandwidth wholesale to internet service providers, or if they will keep it private and run their own ISP, like the phone company does. I hope it is the former, since competition in internet services is still good for the consumer.

I voted yes on the NHEC proposal and encourage others to do that too. Give them a chance. Get the fiber installed. It will raise the economic potential of the area. Virtual learning and working is now a proven concept that won't disappear after social distancing is history.
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Old 09-18-2020, 12:43 PM   #3
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Default

Quote:
Running new fiber along poles is quoted at $33,000 per mile, which would deplete the town's funds quickly.
How many miles would be involved for Moultonborough?

Would that be for all poles (presuming all electric company and phone company poles) without fiber?

Would poles with present fiber, phone and cable companies, be discriminated and not included? Aren't they part of wired market competition?

How much is this anticipated to cost? To whom?

Could this become another "Claremont Decision"?

How about companies like Hub66, that already exist?

https://www.hub66.com/
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:13 PM   #4
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Default preliminary assumptions

How many miles would be involved for Moultonborough? - about 204 system miles. Class 1=13, Class 2=19, Class 5=65, Private =107.

Would that be for all poles (presuming all electric company and phone company poles) without fiber? - It would be up to NHEC. It is not regulated. Ideally, everywhere they have poles, but it might take a while for a build-out.

Would poles with present fiber, phone and cable companies, be discriminated and not included? Aren't they part of wired market competition? Unclear, but NHEC would probably overbuild where there is fiber. Firstlight, Verizon and maybe Charter already have lots of fiber, but only Firstlight sells bandwidth wholesale. So the question remains, will NHEC sell bandwidth wholesale, competing with Firstlight, or compete only as an ISP. Nothing wrong with Firstlight, but their costs are higher because they don't own poles. Firstlight targets business customers, not residential

How much is this anticipated to cost? To whom? NHEC says the sale of bandwidth would pay for the fiber plant and maybe even lower cost of electricity to their customers. We'll see. For those that own the poles, it is a lot cheaper to string fiber.

Could this become another "Claremont Decision"? Unclear what you mean, but for the first three possibilities that I came up with, the answer is same, probably not. Internet is unregulated. Taxes would not be involved. It is likely that NHEC will take funds from the Fed, State and Local level to help them decide priorities and timelines.

How about companies like Hub66, that already exist? Hub66 buys wholesale bandwidth from Firstlight (so does Verizon wireless and AT&T cellular) and could potentially also buy it from NHEC. Hub66 is also doing some "overlashing" on top of Firstlight's fiber runs and offering fiber to the home. Hub66 is growing in Moultonboro and is a good alternative some of those that can't get cable.
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Old 09-18-2020, 04:24 PM   #5
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Moultonborough?- about 204 system miles @ $33,000/mile means what, $6,732,000 if those numbers are near correct? Where do these numbers come from; the town, NH COOP, UNH? The NH, ME, VT phone company ( Fairpoint at the time) spent over 90 million dollars to expand fiber several years back.

Hopefully the numbers include phone company AND electric company poles. They are the two pole owners in NH and “share” legal responsibilities. Others can attach fiber to their poles. NH law makes that provision, administered by the PUC.

Who/what in the Coop will decide … the directors … the members by voting?

NH Public Utilities Commission (NH PUC)
The NHPUC is vested with general jurisdiction over electric, natural gas, water and sewer utilities as defined in RSA 362:2 for issues such as rates, quality of service, finance, accounting, and safety and with limited jurisdiction over telecommunications as defined in 362:7, 362:8, 363:22 and 365:1.

Four electric distribution companies operate in New Hampshire, each serving a mutually exclusive franchise territory. Electric cooperatives are incorporated under state statutes. They are considered nonprofit corporations and are granted Federal tax-exempt status under IRC section 501(c)(12), provided that 85% or more of their annual income comes from members.

Not regulated, … NH PUC: Four electric distribution companies operate in New Hampshire, each serving a mutually exclusive franchise territory; Eversource Energy, Liberty Utilities, Unitil Energy Systems, and New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Quote:
“Firstlight, Verizon and maybe Charter already have lots of fiber, but only Firstlight sells bandwidth wholesale. So the question remains, will NHEC sell bandwidth wholesale, competing with Firstlight, or compete only as an ISP.”
… and for how long? Captured market … doubtful!

So, cost is unknown, distribution is unknown, but the NH COOP will make money.

There is much discussion at state and federal level for broadband expansion, especially with rural areas.
Speaking personally, I'm totally in favor of broadband expansion, especially in unserved/underserved areas. My concern is implementation. The comment about “Claremont Decision” refers to being required to pay for something, to provide benefits to someone else.

Quote:
“Hub66 is growing in Moultonboro and is a good alternative some of those that can't get cable.”
So why not use them to put fiber on poles? Help the company grow. They are not in the, providing electricity, business! Now, if the COOP was making an offer to incorporate a company like Hub66 ... might change my vote.

https://www.hub66.com/
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Old 09-18-2020, 09:37 PM   #6
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Default So much dis-information

First off, that "neighborhood" that is getting fiber to the home, provided by Consolidated.... Its more like Consolidated will put a fiber enhanced DSL box at the entrance to this development, and the neighbors involved will enjoy a 100Meg DSL line, due to their proximity to that hub. Its DSL folks, not Fiber. This was incorrectly stated to encourage people to vote yes. I'm about the furthest from being in the inner circle in town, just been in the business for decades.

Secondly, there is no way the board of directors can convince me, that part of my future electric bill won't be supporting this quest to supply internet to those that didn't have the foresight to buy a house in a service area. That is what I have done, passing up those properties that aren't, for my future abode.

The COOP needs to focus on providing CHEAP power to its members, not to compete with and drive other providers out of business, like Hub66, using our pocketbooks as a weapon against free enterprise competition.

Let Hub66 get off the ground (I have no affiliation with them) and watch Spectrum and Consolidated counter with better deals and upping their product.... That is what America is about.

I swore to myself I was done with the self servicing politics around here, but I couldn't hold it back... shame on me.

Good night.
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Old 09-19-2020, 08:19 AM   #7
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Default

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... ( Fairpoint at the time) spent over 90 million dollars to expand fiber several years back.
Should have said fiber cable, not "fiber". I was involved with delivering of most of the fiber cable to the phone company garages at the time.

The term, "fiber", is apparently used in exchange for broadband speed. The phone company offerings, presently, are for DSL with the hubs with 2-3 mile access from the hubs with decreasing speed, the further from the box.

Won't get into what's happening with satellite broadband (not Direct TV, nor Hughes etc.) nor, Elon Musk, Google, Microsoft, others in that field, but will the NH COOP want to start launching satellites as well?

Sure, I'm being facetious, but as been already said ... " The COOP needs to focus on providing CHEAP power to its members ... "

I, also, built a new house a couple of years ago, still here in Moultonborough. I hadn't anticipated the NH COOP bill for $22/ft. for the copper wire; from the street pole to the house. The line runs fairly parallel to my driveway. My driveway is roughly 560 ft. long. Do the math. Didn't get any help with paying the bill.

Easement on my property, I and all future owners of this property will make payments, probably monthly, for electricity; lease payments for pole use by others ... and I had the privilege of paying, to put in the electric line. Wonder if the COOP will give me a rebate if the bylaw change goes through.

Most would agree that having electricity is more important than broadband. Try getting on the internet without access to electricity.

Who is going to pay for what!!?
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Old 09-19-2020, 06:11 PM   #8
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Default Getting A Few Facts Straight

Hi Folks,
I have no affiliation with NHEC. I’m just a guy in Sandwich working with other citizens to try to bring badly needed broadband to rural areas, but let me see if I can clear up a few things.

1) There will still be competition among broadband providers. NHEC will not have a monopoly. By contrast, cable companies in many towns do have a monopoly because they are the only game in town. With NHEC competing, one can expect to see broadband rates go down, not up.

2) Electric rates will likely go down, not up, with NHEC in the business for two reasons: a) NHEC will likely be able to turn a profit on broadband relatively quickly; b) they will have the essential elements of a “smart grid,” thereby enabling folks to sell surplus electricity that they generate through solar, etc back to the COOP, bringing cheaper electricity into the system more widely and easily than is currently possible.

I say these things with some confidence because there are currently more than 100 rural electric coops around the country who are doing exactly what NHEC has proposed. More info here: https://www.electric.coop/expanded-r...adband-access/

Please vote YES so that NH towns like Sandwich who currently have no reliable, affordable broadband can finally come into the 21st century.

Thanks!
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Old 09-19-2020, 08:31 PM   #9
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What is Hub66 doing for Sandwich?
Hub66:
"We build new fiber and wireless fiber networks.

"We are currently offering or launching Wireless Fiber service in:

Sandwich, NH
Moultonborough, NH
Tamworth, NH
Meredith, NH
Plymouth, NH
Gilford, NH
various Lake Winnipesaukee islands
Hampton, NH
Salisbury, MA
Winchendon, MA"

Again, https://www.hub66.com/

If "high speed broadband" can be had, with more-than-acceptable speeds/bandwidth (more than 25/3Mbps), than why isn't that being researched and/or promoted.

Fiber cable should not the goal. Broadband speeds should be the goal.

Has the Sandwich broadband committee met with Hub66?

http://www.sandwichnh.org/boards_and..._committee.php


NRECA
NRECA ended 2019 with total revenue of $261.7 million and net operating expenses of $258.1 million before the RS Plan Voluntary Contribution Acceleration Program (VCAP) payment. Including the VCAP payment, NRECA ended 2019 with a net margin of $501,000.

https://www.cooperative.com/nreca/go...al-Report.aspx


NHEC competing profitably in the broadband market ... put out a plan first, then maybe if the plan makes sense, there can be some credence and credibility.
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:14 AM   #10
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I’m not trying to sell fiber. I don’t care what the technology is so long as our towns can get affordable, reliable internet. A small group of us have spent several years researching options. I, and others in Sandwich, are very familiar with Hub66 and have met with them. They have good intentions and are able to serve a few homes in Sandwich using a combination of fiber, microwave towers, and antennas. In most situations around here, if they don’t have a tower near you and/or you can’t “see” one of their towers, you won’t get service. Also, since they are reliant on a network of towers, reliability in severe weather will likely be a problem, and they don’t have the infrastructure to respond quickly to service outages. Their technology is not, and will never be, a solution for an entire town in a mountainous area. They are also a very small start-up with an unproven track record. Where will we be if they go bankrupt?

NHEC wants to lay fiber to homes using existing poles and without the use of towers, which is a proven, reliable technology. I know from public meetings that they have looked into various business models and are confident that they can provide this new service without increasing electric rates. They won’t have a detailed plan until they know if they can get some of the newly available grants for rural broadband, and they can’t apply for those grants without our approving the bylaw change. It’s a chicken and egg thing.

The important thing to remember about NHEC is that we, the consumers, own it. If there are signs that they are not delivering on their commitments, then we vote for a new slate of directors. That’s what we did this spring when we voted in directors who would support NHEC getting into the broadband business. Please feel free to send me a PM if you want to discuss this further.
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Old 09-20-2020, 10:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
The important thing to remember about NHEC is that we, the consumers, own it.
Correct.

Quote:
That’s what we did this spring when we voted in directors who would support NHEC getting into the broadband business.
"We" failed to get the required majority votes for the bylaw change, so try again with a twist.

Quote:
They won’t have a detailed plan until they know if they can get some of the newly available grants for rural broadband, and they can’t apply for those grants without our approving the bylaw change. It’s a chicken and egg thing.
More like scrambled eggs!
Why?

If there is surety ... put it on the table and convince!

To comply with the current CARES Act rules, states must have the broadband projects, which can typically take months of planning, up and running by Dec. 30. Also, if I remember correctly, if there is 25/3 Mbps availability, then disqualification for the money. That would mean a majority of the area that NHEC/phone company poles, to be strung with fiber cable, would be disqualified from Cares Act money.

The Carroll County Broadband Committee is also trying to get broadband into their northern sites, not just Sandwich. County/state money for certain towns.

Hub66 is in essence a startup with a probable a future. At least they have a plan ... not like NHEC, just string a bunch of fiber cable on poles, that for the most part, already have fiber cable through their trunk infrastructure. Cheaper to place towers, than string miles of redundant fiber.

Broadband availability has been studied/argued for many years. Even when I was a member of the Moultonborough Broadband "Workgroup", back in 2014, there was debate on technology. Moultonborogh was one of three towns picked by UNH etc. for the study. It was picked because it had over $200,000 in a town reserve fund. The money came from the cable company franchise fees.

A pearl of wisdom by the deciding body was to be a workgroup instead of a
"committee" to avoid RSA 91-A , Right-To-Know law compliance with meeting minutes.

Quote:
In March 2014, a statewide broadband initiative (information at iwantbroadbandnh.org), sponsored by UNH, LRPC and DRED, chose Moultonborough to participate in a broadband planning pilot program.
https://www.moultonboroughnh.gov/sit...dband-2014.pdf


The debate continues to this day.
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Old 09-20-2020, 11:39 AM   #12
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Default Lots of upside potential, downside is speculation

We're getting in the weeds, but the goal remains to allow NHEC to move forward with planning a fiber infrastructure. It appears to be the best way to get high-speed internet to everyone, which the region badly needs. Since NHEC owns many of the utility poles, it is much less expensive for them to string fiber. No pole rental and fewer make-ready charges or delays.

Now, deeper into the weeds. CARES act 2020 is a done deal. It is partially correct that CARES 2020 didn't pay for connecting those that already have greater than 25/3 Mbps, but the infrastructure was allowed to pass by served homes to get to unserved areas. Those served homes along the path can also connect, but not recover last mile costs via CARES 2020 money. We'll have to wait to see what 2021 internet build-out funding is available.

If NHEC moves forward with fiber, much of Carroll County's problems will be solved. Much of the county is already served, but like M'boro, there are big pockets of unserved. The cable and phone companies could do it, but haven't and seem unwilling to help others erode their monopoly.

Hub66 only strings fiber within neighborhoods, sometimes over-wrapped on its wholesale supplier. It doesn't own backhaul fiber but buys bulk bandwidth wholesale. The existing fiber capacity from Consolidated and Charter/Spectrum is not available for resale, so the overbuilding by FirstLight or NHEC is needed for 100% buildout. If NHEC has an open model for its fiber capacity, Hub66 and others can compete for the last mile. Competition on consumer internet services, backed by an open and stable backbone means lower costs. To me, the open trunk model works best. It is a lot easier for NHEC to support wholesale customers than if selling internet direct to the consumer.
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Old 09-20-2020, 12:03 PM   #13
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I am confused by your post. “Try again with a twist?” “Scrambled eggs?”

NHEC is proposing initially to string fiber where there are no other options—places like Colebrook and Sandwich. Even those few folks who do have 25/3 via DSL in those areas want other options because the copper technology is so unreliable. I’ve had DSL for 7 years, and it never delivers the speeds it promises. I live 12,000 feet from the fiber drop, and the best I can get is 10/1 on a good day, and there aren’t many of those with DSL. Most people in Sandwich can only get about 3 down, if that. Disconnections and slowed speeds are a daily occurrence with DSL.

Conexon https://www.conexon.us/ is a likely partner for NHEC as it is currently working with many rural electric coops. It is an established company, which has proven the viability of the business model and the technology. The Cares Act money does have to be spent by 12/31, as you point out, but there are much larger grants becoming available this fall through the Rural Development Opportunity Fund, which many rural coops will be applying for as a part of a Conexon consortium. I know this because I’ve talked to their CEO as a part of my research. Our expectation is that NHEC would join that consortium, but NHEC can only join if members vote YES to the bylaw change.

What is the basis of your confidence in Hub66 as a company and in their technology? What gives you the impression that “they have a plan?” In fact, their “summer plan” was to lay lots of new fiber, but then they discovered how time-consuming and expensive that “plan” was. Being small, they simply couldn’t take a project of that scale on, so they pivoted to the fiber+wireless option.

What makes you think this technology is a solution for rural areas? Unlike cell towers, their internet towers require line of sight for service. Do you really think communities like Sandwich will want dozens of towers built on every hilltop? That’s what would be required to serve the entire town with the Hub66 technology. Like Netafy, which is another new provider offering similar technology, Hub66 has a niche product. Those few who can get service from either company are very fortunate—at least until the first ice storm puts their towers and/or the antennas mounted on homes out of commission. Their infrastructure is very vulnerable. And it will be many years, if ever, before those companies have crews that can respond quickly to outages, as NHEC does.

So please support those towns that have no options by voting YES to the NHEC bylaw changes. We are business and tech savvy and have done our homework, as has the NHEC leadership. Again, I invite you to continue the conversation via PM and a phone call.
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Old 09-20-2020, 02:16 PM   #14
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Getting in the weeds... try staying out of the swamp!

Cares Act is only one of the contemporaneous financing instruments being bantered-about at state and federal level.

Quote:
The cable and phone companies could do it, but haven't and seem unwilling to help others erode their monopoly.
There's a reason ... costs. Cable companies are not a monopoly, by law (not bylaw). Costs to run fiber to low housing density are the reason. Laconia now has two cable companies, thanks to Comcast. One of the few towns/cities to have more than one.

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/...C-III-53-C.htm

Hub66 is mentioned because it came in vogue in Moultonborough, recently.

Owning a pole is not cost prohibitive. Not allowing fiber cable to be put on the poles was part of the early confusion with the propaganda for the first petition.

https://www.puc.nh.gov/regulatory/Rules/PUC1300.PDF

Quote:
To meaningfully affect the State of New HampshireÂ’s response to COVID-19, all expenditures under this program will end by December 30, 2020, and the projects must be complete as early as possible, and no later than December 15, 2020
https://www.goferr.nh.gov/covid-expe.../connecting-nh


Look to Federal and National conversation regarding broadband technology with relevant inadequacies. Sandwich is no different than many other rural communities.

I'm all for accelerating good broadband and coverage. Is NHEC the solution. I'm not convinced, without more specifics.

I've been a proponent of hybrid systems, not just fiber cable, for years. Do I believe that fiber cable FTTP/FTTH is best, presently ... YES! Is it available presently to all ... NO! Now what!?

I haven't seen nor heard in this thread, anything new, or haven't heard before. I've always admired Dr. Yassini at UNH. Heard of him? Just down the road from Sandwich!

https://www.unh.edu/broadband/about


Enough said.

The only agreement I sense is a vote:

Amend Article X, Section 1. Paragraphs (d) and (e) to add, “and/or other facilities, equipment or property necessary to provide other goods and services or for the orderly furtherance of the business and operations of the Cooperative”;

Amend Article X, Section 2. to reference “controlled affiliate” in place of “controlled nonprofit cooperative (affiliate)”;

Amend Article XII, to remove, “on a nonprofit basis” concerning organizations to which NHEC may become a member or hold an ownership interest;

Amend Article XII to add, “necessary to provide other goods and services or for the orderly furtherance of the business and operations of the Cooperative, or is otherwise”;

Yes No


https://www.nhec.com/wp-content/uplo...nt-V.3_WEB.pdf

Wish you well, and the members will decide this change. So be it!
The marketplace will decide viability.
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Old 09-20-2020, 10:23 PM   #15
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Default Why NHEC?

We are far from convinced that NHEC is the proper entity to be doing broadband. According to an interesting article in N.H. Town and City magazine, September/
October, it specifically mentions Carroll County broadband, which has received a $250k USDA grant to study broadband for all 19 towns comprising Carroll County. Nowhere in this article is NHEC mentioned as a provider of this service. At this point, we feel that this project should be done on a county-wide basis, and lean toward a NO vote unless we can be persuaded otherwise.
https://issuu.com/N.H. municipal association/docs/town city sepoct20 72
Tried to do the link, but I am not a techie so sorry.
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Old 09-21-2020, 07:51 AM   #16
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https://www.nhmunicipal.org/town-cit...important-ever
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:02 AM   #17
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Default Let NHEC take the next step

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue Doe-Nym View Post
We are far from convinced that NHEC is the proper entity to be doing broadband. According to an interesting article in N.H. Town and City magazine, September/
October, it specifically mentions Carroll County broadband, which has received a $250k USDA grant to study broadband for all 19 towns comprising Carroll County. Nowhere in this article is NHEC mentioned as a provider of this service. At this point, we feel that this project should be done on a county-wide basis, and lean toward a NO vote unless we can be persuaded otherwise.
.
The Carroll County Broadband Committee hasn't met for a while, so doesn't have a position on the NHEC vote at this time. Being on the committee, I've asked that a meeting be held to consider one. It wasn't an option during the study, so that is why you don't see it mentioned.

Having a fiber backbone for third parties to tap into would sure help the CCBC research to date. There are many small companies that want to sell to the consumer, stringing fiber from the pole to homes, providing customer premises equipment and support. But, can they scale and give us longevity? Those are real concerns. Building a backbone to tap into is expensive and getting permission to use existing poles is slow. If NHEC will do the build-out, it could be a sea-change in what is available.

It would be a shame if the cost to connect everyone in Carroll County would be millions higher because people voted to tell NHEC to forget about it. It could be the difference between hundreds having high-speed internet this decade or not. There aren't many (any?) choices to pick from in some of the rural areas, so why cut this one off from consideration?

What is the fear? Higher electric rates? Poor service? More downtime than with DSL? Who do you think is going to invest in hundreds of miles of fiber if NHEC doesn't? Do you expect the phone company or the cable company to step up and expand into low density areas? Do you care that many people in the rural parts of every town and especially in Sandwich, Tamworth, Madison, Eaton, Ossipee and Brookfield can't get high-speed internet?

I'm passionate about this because I'm a lightning rod for those that can't get good internet today. Students and people that are able to work from home are limited in what they can do. They are driving to the library parking lot to attend zoom meetings, required to keep their job. When their kids are attending on-line classes, everyone else in the house has to stay off the internet. It is a quality of life issue and we have an opportunity to help.

I hope that we, the NHEC customers in the Lakes Region, cast our ballots to allow the board to move forward. Let's give them a chance to come up with a solid proposal and then shoot at it if it doesn't make sense.
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:32 AM   #18
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I strongly agree with Lakegeezer. We cannot just think about what might work for one town or one county. There are far too many towns in NH that don’t have fast, affordable, reliable internet. Without decent internet, these towns will be left behind in the 21st century. Citizens will not have access to healthcare, jobs, and education opportunities that are increasingly available only to those have broadband. As this presentation from NHEC director Leo Dwyer makes very clear, broadband access for rural communities today is as essential as rural electrification was in the 1930’s. https://youtu.be/58_0-9oGVJs

From all the research that I and others have done, NHEC is uniquely positioned to offer an internet solution that works for all.
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Old 09-21-2020, 08:51 AM   #19
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https://sandwichclimate.com/people-p...ops-attention/
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:13 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakegeezer View Post
The Carroll County Broadband Committee hasn't met for a while, so doesn't have a position on the NHEC vote at this time. Being on the committee, I've asked that a meeting be held to consider one. It wasn't an option during the study, so that is why you don't see it mentioned.

Having a fiber backbone for third parties to tap into would sure help the CCBC research to date. There are many small companies that want to sell to the consumer, stringing fiber from the pole to homes, providing customer premises equipment and support. But, can they scale and give us longevity? Those are real concerns. Building a backbone to tap into is expensive and getting permission to use existing poles is slow. If NHEC will do the build-out, it could be a sea-change in what is available.

It would be a shame if the cost to connect everyone in Carroll County would be millions higher because people voted to tell NHEC to forget about it. It could be the difference between hundreds having high-speed internet this decade or not. There aren't many (any?) choices to pick from in some of the rural areas, so why cut this one off from consideration?

What is the fear? Higher electric rates? Poor service? More downtime than with DSL? Who do you think is going to invest in hundreds of miles of fiber if NHEC doesn't? Do you expect the phone company or the cable company to step up and expand into low density areas? Do you care that many people in the rural parts of every town and especially in Sandwich, Tamworth, Madison, Eaton, Ossipee and Brookfield can't get high-speed internet?

I'm passionate about this because I'm a lightning rod for those that can't get good internet today. Students and people that are able to work from home are limited in what they can do. They are driving to the library parking lot to attend zoom meetings, required to keep their job. When their kids are attending on-line classes, everyone else in the house has to stay off the internet. It is a quality of life issue and we have an opportunity to help.

I hope that we, the NHEC customers in the Lakes Region, cast our ballots to allow the board to move forward. Let's give them a chance to come up with a solid proposal and then shoot at it if it doesn't make sense.
You make very compelling and persuasive points well worth considering. However, as suggested in your final paragraph, a YES vote is not for a specific proposal, but gives them permission to do what they want...and by then it’s too late to shoot holes in their decisions. Correct me if that’s a wrong assumption .
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Old 09-21-2020, 09:48 AM   #21
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As I mentioned in an earlier post, the great advantage of having NHEC do this is that it is a consumer coop. We own it. If we don’t like the direction they take, we vote in new directors. I’ve been impressed with how responsive they are to their customers/owners. Their decision to get into the broadband business was a direct result of consumer advocacy. Bottom line, I trust their management to do what’s right for consumers. I cannot say that about most for profit cable and phone companies.
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:35 AM   #22
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Here’s some additional information on NHEC’s broadband plans from a recent article in the Concord Monitor: https://www.concordmonitor.com/New-H...et-nh-36285414
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Old 09-21-2020, 03:29 PM   #23
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Is this thread about the Articles X and XII ballot?

Pardon my ignorance- I just want to know if it (the ballot)/they (the articles) are about increased internet for those outlying areas that struggle for connection.
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Old 09-21-2020, 03:49 PM   #24
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Not Ignorance ... perceptive.

https://www.nhec.com/wp-content/uplo...nt-V.3_WEB.pdf

page 1 ... short version of bold type on page 3 & 4

Hopefully, Elon Musk will not contact for Starlink.

https://www.starlink.com/

Could be a popcorn company.
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Old 09-23-2020, 05:00 PM   #25
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Twags, you said: "The Co-op aims to expand broadband to all its members who currently lack it." emphasis mine

Is there not an intention here for NHEC to make its broadband available to ALL members? This will certainly have an influence on my vote. I can understand focusing first on underserved areas, but we ALL need reliable and cost effective service. I have service now--but it is not cheap, not reliable and there's no incentive for providers to improve.
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:21 PM   #26
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Default Open meeting going on

We received a call from NHEC a short while ago, allowing a connection to an open board meeting to discuss broadband. Sad to say, after a few minutes, we were cut off, and the person who answered our call didn’t seem to know anything about the meeting or how to reconnect us. Very disappointing as we wanted to listen in on their plans. After this, we question whether they are up to handling broadband.
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Old 09-25-2020, 03:18 PM   #27
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Default Carroll County Broadband Committee encourages a "YES" vote

This message comes from Rick Hiland, the co-chair of the Carroll County Broadband Committee. Thanks to Sue-Doe-Nym for pointing out the opportunity for the committee to take a stand.

Carroll County Broadband Committee encourages all members of the New Hampshire Electric Co-Op to vote in support of the proposed amendment to the Co-op’s bylaws to provide the flexibility needed to quickly and efficiently take advantage of opportunities to ensure all members have access to affordable, reliable, high speed internet. The Committee continues to supports all efforts to bring high speed internet access to all residents and businesses in Carroll County and rural New Hampshire.

Here is the NHEC info page regarding the bylaw change and how to VOTE “Yes”:
https://www.nhec.com/broadband/
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Old 09-25-2020, 03:57 PM   #28
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Of course, Rick Hilland would support any help to get broadband into Albany. Just as much as Sandwich is supporting.

https://www.conwaydailysun.com/news/...1ca1fcffd.html

https://www.tamworthnh.org/sites/g/f...08-26-2019.pdf


The Carroll County Broadband Committee doesn't appear to be too active.
https://www.carrollcountynh.net/cc-broadband

Some gains by state statutes to allow towns to facilitate working together for bonds etc. for broadband.
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Old 09-26-2020, 02:42 PM   #29
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My voting ballot came in the mail this week.

I guess my issue is this...

Amend Article XII, to remove, "on a nonprofit basis" concerning organizations to which NHEC may become a member or hold an ownership interest; (end line)

As a "member", I pay $29.32 per month to belong to the COOP. I then pay high premiums for the electricity that they provide.

They are now asking "members" to foot the bill so that they can create a FOR PROFIT segment to the company (read: provide internet service to outlaying areas of NH)?

I do get the OP's plight here and I want to cry every time someone uses this as a reason for grabbing money. "There are Billions in Federal funding", but guess what.... that means I am paying for it X2!

I am a NO!
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