CARES Act broadband funding helped enable the town of Bristol, New Hampshire to deploy 24 miles of fiber to pass 400 Bristol residences and connect to Plymouth State University. The CARES Act funding was a $1.52 million grant.
In a separate project, additional fiber backbone and fiber distribution will be deployed to connect all Bristol municipal, educational and commercial buildings with funding through a Northern Border Regional Commission grant and town appropriation.
The long-term goal is for residents of Bristol to get symmetrical fiber to the premises, and for fiber connectivity also to reach businesses, municipal buildings and educational facilities in Plymouth, N.H. as well as Bristol.
Both initiatives were led by Bristol’s Economic Development Committee.
The 24-mile fiber network was constructed by eX² Technology of Omaha, NE. eX² Technology was selected to provide a hybrid fiber network architecture using active Ethernet and gigabit passive optional network technology.
The firm was chosen after the town issued a request for proposals for the design, engineering and construction of the network last August. The completion date, in accordance with CARES Act broadband funding rules, was December 15. The press release says that Bristol was the only municipality in the state to get CARES Act broadband funding.
“Building a fiber optic network will provide the speed and bandwidth necessary to support telework, remote schooling and multiple simultaneous connections, allowing Bristol to compete on a regional, national and global level,” Bristol’s Town Administrator Nicholas Coates said in a press release about the CARES Act broadband project. “Neighboring towns have been reaching out to us for guidance on developing similar networks for their communities. We are on the cusp of being a national model for rural communities.”
Bristol, which is in the northern part of the state, has 3,300 permanent residents. Officials hope the projects spurs development along the I-93 corridor. The second project is scheduled to be completed during the middle of April.
Development also is occurring in the southern part of the state. Last August, Consolidated Communications broke ground on an FTTP network that it said will reach every home and business in Dublin, Harrisville, Rindge, Walpole and Westmoreland. The initiative is a public/private partnership.