Fiber to the Home in Barrington

Barrington Coverage by Type 20220412

Barrington residents are united in their requests for more speed and more options for their home internet connections.  Although Breezeline has a non-exclusive cable TV franchise agreement in Barrington, it is a common misconception that the agreement regulates internet connections or internet provider competition.  In short, the agreement pertains only to cable TV and any internet service provider is welcome in Barrington with no local regulation.  More information regarding the Breezeline Franchise Agreement can be found here: www.barrington.nh.gov/faq/TownandInternet

The Barrington Technology Committee has taken a proactive approach to promote bringing fiber to the home in Barrington.  The committee is reviewing options to pursue grants and low-interest loans which would help incentivize providers to bring fiber internet to the home in Barrington.  Multiple providers have fiber services along Routes 125, 9, and 4, but (with one exception) those services do not yet extend to residential areas.  Recently, Fidium Fiber installed residential fiber service in southwest Barrington along the Route 4 corridor, this service is now available to a few hundred households.  The Technology Committee plans to present their recommendations to the Select Board this summer, all are welcome.  Check back here for more details once a date is set.

May 10, 2022 (NCDE Meeting)

Agenda:

  1. Request presentations from viable Providers (schedule 20 min sessions with Q&A)
    1. CCI  5-10-22
    2. Breezeline
    3. Firstlight
  2. Based on Gap Analysis and forecasting decide on approach to solutions
  3. Provide a high level design and cost estimate for fttp in Barrington
  4. Business Model Strategy for deployment of fiber
    1. Public Network
    2. Public/Private Partnership
    3. Private Network
  5. Funding Strategy for deployment
    1. Municipality funded
      1. Bond
      2. Grant funded
      3. Raise capital from residents (Stock)
      4. Tap into banking CRA requirements
      5. NH Broadband Office/Federal Funding $122Million
    2. Shared Cost funded(provider/municipality)
      1. Bond
      2. Grant funded
      3. Tap into banking CRA requirement
      4. NH Broadband Office/Federal Funding $122Million
    3. Privately funded by provider
      1. No funding from municipality
      2. Letters of support
      3. Negotiate timeline and schedule for deployment
  6. Affordability – Approach to
    1. Discount program for LMI and Senior Populations
    2. Discount Devices for LMI and Senior Populations
    3. Work with schools, and senior housing to train on ACP Program

Carol Miller has coordinated meetings with the internet services providers currently serving Barrington.  The purpose of the meetings is to understand their current plans to deploy fiber in Barrington and what partnership opportunities may exist.

Consolidated Communications explained that they recently completed a fiber build-out in southwest Barrington (dba Fidium Fiber).  They also explained that Consolidated has partnered with 23 communities to bring fiber to the home in New Hampshire.  They have availability in their 2023 build schedule if a partnership opportunity existed to expand fiber to the home in Barrington.  

April 12, 2022 (NCDE Meeting)

Carol Miller shared more coverage maps with members of the Technology Committee for discussion.  In general, the maps showed that Barrington was primarily covered by Breezeline, with other providers available in certain locations.  Fiber availability was limited.

March 15, 2022 (NCDE Meeting)

Carol Miller presented preliminary coverage maps to members of the Technology Committee for discussion.  She shared that more data collection would result in updated maps.  

January 19, 2022 (Select Board Meeting)

Video • Minutes

Broadband Coverage Data Request

i. At the September 27, 2021 meeting, the Select Board authorized proceeding with a contract to become ‘Broadband Ready’. The Town partnered with NCDE to perform the scope. The project kickoff meeting was on January 11, 2022 and the first step is data collection. Pursuant to RSA 33:3-g, III (established from 2018 NH Senate Bill 170), the Town can vote to request broadband coverage information from providers in Barrington.

Motion to request broadband coverage data from Barrington providers per RSA 33:3-g, III - Passed on the consent agenda.

January 11, 2022 (NCDE Kick-Off Meeting)

The Technology Committee met with Carol Miller from NCDE to begin the project included in the November 11, 2021 contract.

Meeting PowerPoint: https://www.barrington.nh.gov/town-administrator/files/ncde-kickoff-meeting-powerpoint-20220111

November 11, 2021 (NCDE Contract)

Barrington enters a contract with NCDE with a scope of becoming 'broadband ready'.

Contract: https://www.barrington.nh.gov/town-administrator/files/ncde-contract-20211110

September 27, 2021 (Select Board Meeting)

Video • Minutes

National Collaborative for Digital Equity (NCDE) Broadband Partnership

  1. The New Hampshire Municipal Association has partnered with NCDE to help communities advocate and secure improved broadband (fiber to home).  The cost will be $7,500 and it will be an eligible use of ARPA funds.
  2. The goal of the partnership would be to become ‘fiber ready’.  This involves research, data collection, and data analysis to understand the current environment and areas for improvement.  This information is necessary in order to pursue and secure broadband grant funds which are becoming increasingly available. 
  3. The Technology Committee reviewed this proposal at their September meeting.  The group felt it was very important for Barrington to take an active role in improving broadband connectivity in Barrington.  Step one of that process is becoming ‘broadband ready’.  They felt that the partnership with NCDE would be a valuable investment towards that goal.
  4. Based on the US Treasury’s Interim Final Rule on Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, this project would be an eligible use for the ARPA funds.  Of the four categories of qualifying expenditures, this would fall under the broadband infrastructure allowable expense.

Motion to expend up to $7,500 from Barrington’s ARPA funding to partner with NCDE by Chairperson Knapp, seconded by Selectperson Bailey. Roll call vote: Ayer – Aye, Bailey – Aye, Mannschreck – Aye, Knapp – Aye. The motion passed.