SB 85 would improve internet access and reduce coverage gaps in rural areas
CONCORD, NH – The Senate Commerce Committee today heard a bi-partisan bill aimed at increasing broadband access across the state and reducing coverage gaps in rural areas. SB85 would establish a grant initiative utilizing state and federal funds matched by local dollars and private funds. The program would be run through the state’s Office of Strategic Initiatives.
Prime sponsor Majority Leader Jeb Bradley (R- Wolfeboro) said, “The pandemic has shown us that all of New Hampshire must have access to high-speed broadband. It improves telecommuting, telemedicine, and remote education. It also enhances our everyday lives by keeping us in touch with family and friends, especially at a time when we truly need to stay connected.”
Another sponsor, Sen. Erin Hennessey (R-Littleton) whose district covers all of Coos County said, “It has become increasingly clear that New Hampshire residents, particularly those in the North Country and other rural areas of our state, must have better access to broadband at a sufficient upload and download speed. I believe SB85 will go a long way to reaching our goal of improved internet access so that people can be competitive when it comes to their education and their businesses.