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Consolidated Communications will use public-private partnerships with eight New Hampshire communities to bring them fiber-to-the premises broadband networks. It is the latest in a string of Consolidated public-private broadband partnerships.

Consolidated has a growing strategy for these types of arrangements, recently announcing completion of one across three other New Hampshire towns and a new project in Brooklin, Maine.

The company said that the partnerships are a key component of its plans to expand rural broadband access. Subscriber fees help offset the cost of the operating agreement, so residents don’t see resulting tax increases.

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Consolidated is also upgrading 300,000 other locations to fiber connections outside of the partnerships, the company said.

Under the most recent agreement, about 9,400 residents in Marlborough, Charlestown, Fitzwilliam, Gilsum, Goshen, Langdon, Troy and Unity will have access to internet speeds of up to 1 Gbps upon completion of the project.

“We’ve seen the positive impact of high-speed internet on local communities and are excited to partner with these towns to deliver fiber, broadband services,” said Rob Koester, Consolidated Communications senior vice president, consumer product management, in a prepared statement about the new Consolidated public-private broadband partnerships. “We are committed to expanding and improving rural broadband throughout our service area. Fiber internet is a major driver for lasting economic development, e-commerce and quality-of-life benefits and opportunities.”

Consolidated is the incumbent service provider in a large portion of New Hampshire as a result of its purchase of Fairpoint Communications. In a previous interview, Koester told Telecompetitor that the environment for public-private broadband partnerships in the state had improved as the result of a law passed several years ago.

Joan Engebretson contributed to this report.

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