NH Broadband Conference A Success!

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On Friday May 16th the NH Broadband Conference was held at the Grappone Center in Concord, NH. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the present and future state of broadband in New Hampshire. Keynote speaker, Senator Kelly Ayotte, spoke to the importance of broadband in the state and explained her efforts in Washington to convey this priority. To date her work has been focused on getting New Hampshire a higher return rate on the universal services access charge that is part of every phone bill. She has also advocated for funding from the FCC’s Universal Service Fund to service rural areas in the U.S, inclusive of New Hampshire.

There were multiple break-out sessions focused on broadband in different sectors such as healthcare, economic development, education, local government and public safety.   These sessions ran throughout the day including track options such as: Broadband and Small Business, Public Safety: NHSafeNet & FirstNet, and Interactive Learning at a Distance (ConnectNH), among others.

Discussion at these sessions looked at broadband as an essential tool for the future of business, healthcare, local government, public safety and education. Sessions included video conferencing with the Mount Washington Observatory and White Mountain Community College, stories from companies whose daily work relies on strong broadband service, as well as a potential implementation of a nation-wide first responders network that would allow communication across jurisdictional boundaries.

Throughout the day there were panel talks with leading professionals in respective sectors. The conference closed with the words of Rouzbeh Yassini, Director of the UNH Broadband Center of Excellence (BCOE). Yassini spoke to the UNH BCOE’s Vision 2030, which includes a networked future where broadband connectivity applies to anything and everything; your car, your house, wearables such as hats and bracelets, and other endless possibilities.

For more information on the NH Broadband Conference contact Shayna Sylvia, Communications Intern at ssylvia@strafford.org, or Matt Sullivan, Regional Planner at msullivan@strafford.org.