Consolidated Communications is closing in on completion of the latest in a string of public-private broadband projects. The company has completed construction of FTTP networks supporting speeds up to a gigabit in three New Hampshire towns and is working on two others.
The completed projects are in the New Hampshire towns of Dublin, Rindge and Westmoreland. The networks still under construction are in Walpole and Harrisville. The communities all are in Cheshire County.
Consolidated will cover $4 million of the total $13 million cost of the projects and the communities will provide the remainder through a bond issue. This approach enabled the projects to be undertaken without property tax increases.
The projects were originally announced in August 2020 and will connect more than 8,000 locations.
Consolidated is actively pursuing public/private projects. The company is partnering with New Hampshire to “expand and enhance” broadband to more than 2,000 residents of Danbury, Springfield, Mason and Errol. In December, the provider said it would upgrade 1.6 million locations – including more than 1 million in northern New England to symmetrical multi-gigabit speeds. The project will take five years.
“These fiber network partnerships ensure rural towns have the broadband access their residents and small businesses need to work, learn and live without increasing taxes,” Rob Koester, Consolidated Communications’ senior vice president, consumer product management, said in a press release. “Our commitment to work with cities and towns across the region will continue to grow as we connect more people and create numerous, lasting economic development, e-commerce and quality-of-life benefits and opportunities.”
In April 2020, Consolidated Communications completed a public-private upgrade and expansion of service to Brooklin, Maine. The service provider added capacity, upgraded equipment and built remote terminal sites. The project also readied the network for future implementations and upgrades.
Though Consolidated Communications is active in other New England states, a key to its strategy can be found in New Hampshire. In November, 2019, Koester – than the Vice President of Consumer Products — told Telecompetitor that it was taking advantage of a 2018 state law that allowed municipalities to fund qualifying broadband projects through bond issues.