HOLDERNESS, N.H. – The goal of bringing faster and better Internet service to all corners of New Hampshire clicked into high speed today with the signing of a bill that will lead to the hiring of a state director of broadband planning and development.
Senator Deborah Reynolds (D-Plymouth) joined Governor John Lynch, business and community leaders today at Town Hall as legislation was signed into law establishing the new position, which will be paid for with federal grant money.
The Department of Resources and Economic Development is expected to act promptly to fill the position. Rural communities like Holderness are among those expected to benefit from improved access to high-speed Internet services.
“This bill will help make broadband deployment one of our state priorities and assist in economic development throughout our state, especially in underserved areas,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds was the lead sponsor on Senate Bill 159 and has worked extensively to create a comprehensive plan for expanding broadband access across the state.
“Ensuring that every household and business in New Hampshire has access to affordable, high-quality broadband service has been my number one priority since coming to the Senate. This bill will allow New Hampshire to develop and implement a state-wide broadband plan that will create jobs, attract businesses, educate our children and help reduce healthcare costs through the use of telemedicine,” she said.
The director of broadband planning will work within the state Department of Resources and Economic Development. The director’s responsibilities will include developing a state telecommunications plan to bring broadband service throughout the state and to seek grants and investigate partnerships with the public and private sectors to advance that goal.
“This position is pivotal to expanding broadband access across New Hampshire. We already have applicants and we hope to begin interviewing candidates in the very near future,” said Chris Way, business services manager for the Department of Resources and Economic Development.