As part of the New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program, Strafford Regional Planning Commission would like to announce the adoption of the Strafford Regional Broadband Plan for the SRPC region. Strafford Regional Planning Commission would like to thank its many partners including the University of New Hampshire, Cooperative Extension, GRANIT, the nine Regional Planning Commissions, and volunteers, without which, this work could be completed.
Strafford Regional Planning Commission has engaged, throughout this process, a wide array of individuals and groups as part of its public involvement process. Through the New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program’s internet home, www.iwantbroadbandnh.org, the project was able to engage not only partner organizations, but also engaged citizens on a statewide basis.
The New Hampshire Broadband Mapping & Planning Program (NHBMPP) is a comprehensive, multi-year effort that seeks to understand where broadband is currently available in NH, how it can be made more widely available in the future, and how to encourage increased levels of broadband adoption and usage. The Program, managed by the GRANIT System within the Earth Systems Research Center at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), is a collaboration of multiple partners representing UNH, regional planning agencies, state agencies, and private, non-profit entities. It includes two primary components -a mapping initiative and a planning and technical assistance initiative.
In the mapping realm, GRANIT is collaborating with the nine regional planning commissions to map areas in the state where broadband service is currently available, as well as areas with no service and areas that are considered underserved. The mapping inventory relies on data collected semi-annually from the 70+ public and commercial entities, both landline and wireless (fixed and cellular) that provide broadband services in New Hampshire. Data is also being collected on broadband availability at individual community anchor institutions, including schools, libraries, medical/healthcare locations, public safety offices, and state/county/municipal buildings. Finally, the mapping component includes a significant effort to develop the first public master address file for the state.
The mapping data will provide an important baseline assessment for new Hampshire, will facilitate effective dialog in the state regarding use and demand for broadband services, and will assist the state as it seeks to prioritize infrastructure projects and to build a sustainable broadband framework in the future. In addition, results from the NHBMPP are being provided to the NTIA and the Federal Communications Commission to assist in the development and maintenance of the National Broadband Map.
The NHBMPP includes a significant effort to incorporate the information collected and the momentum generated by the mapping activities into a suite of planning and technical assistance services to benefit municipalities, businesses, institutions, and residents of New Hampshire. The planning activities focus on state broadband capacity building, on developing regional and statewide plans, and on providing technical assistance to various sectors in the state.
Sector Based Interview and Broadband Stakeholder Group
In order to take a qualitative approach to understand broadband provision, needs, and barriers in the region, Strafford Regional Planning Commission conducted interviews with professionals in the Healthcare, Economic Development, Public Safety, Local Government, and Education fields. These focus interviews were used understand sector specific uses and applications of broadband in the region, along with future needs for service. SRPC staff interviewed eight different individuals including a town IT Director, a Chief of Police, a Planning and Zoning Administrator, a Technology Director for a local high school, and the Chief Information office at a healthcare facility among others.
SRPC also formed a Broadband Stakeholder Group(BSG). This group was comprised of diverse stakeholders interested in improving the availability and quality of high speed internet in the Strafford Region of New Hampshire. The BSG was formed by Strafford Region Planning Commission in March of 2012, as part of a four year Regional Broadband Planning component of the New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program (NHBMPP). Across the state, each of the nine Regional Planning Commissions formed Broadband Stakeholder Groups (BSGs) to assist with the development of Regional Broadband Plans. The NH Office of Energy and Planning will eventually fold these 9 Regional Plans into one Statewide Broadband Plan.
For more information on the group and the project, please, explore this website or contact Matt Sullivan, Regional Planner at (603)-994-3500 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cable Franchise Agreement Collection
- By NH RSA 53-C, each community is required to enter into an agreement for access to cable and to establish terms for that access. These terms are recorded in the Cable Franchise Agreement (CFA). Access to cable is technically access to video distribution, but the reality of today’s technology is that cable infrastructure also provides internet access. Therefore, the CFA has implications for, but does not directly represent, internet access. Guidance for towns in the process of initiating or updating CFAs is sometimes provided through legal consultation, or from the New Hampshire Coalition for Community Media. However, many communities have few resources to draw upon when reviewing an agreement. This project included the inventorying and cataloging all current municipal CFAs in NH, identifying common elements in those CFAs (including start/end dates, minimum coverage requirements, annual franchisee fees paid, etc.) and recording the variability of terms within those common elements. The work is being completed by the nine RPCs in the state, who are collected the documents and extracted data from them. Project results were posted on the NHBMPP website. By enabling statewide and regional comparisons of CFAs, the NHBMPP seeks to provide a valuable resource to communities who are in the process of initiating, reviewing or updating local franchise agreements. Updates are currently being made to this database for communities who have updated thier Cable Franchise Agreements since the database was created in 2012.
Rural Addressing Project
- The Rural Addressing Project is a component of the NH Broadband Mapping & Planning Program (NHBMPP) that is managed by the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC). The project was initiated to develop a database containing a mapped point feature and associated street address for every residential address in the rural Census blocks in the State of New Hampshire. Rural blocks are defined as having an area of at least 2 square miles. 2010 Census figures have 39,991 households within those rural blocks. The resulting dataset will be the first statewide, publically available rural master address file, and will be used to support the NHBMPP efforts to validate data points where broadband service (or lack thereof) is reported. In addition, the addresses will be the base from which a complete statewide file (rural and urban) can be created and maintained.
Community Anchor Institution Surveys
- Part of the NHBMPP included identifying and surveying community anchor institutions. Each of the nine Regional Planning Commissions of New Hampshire will worked to survey "Community Anchor Institutions" including: Hospitals, Schools, Universities, Municipal Buildings, Public Safety Complexes, and Other Non-governmental Support locations. This effort took part in ten different rounds, and allowed planning commission staff to get the most up to date information concerning broadband provision to important community establishments.
- SRPC is currently working to inventory and create a map of regional employers in a similar process to how the community anchors institution database was created.
Town Broadband Profiles
- Broadband provision to each community in the Strafford Region was identified through the NHBMPP. These maps can be viewed online by clicking the images below, or clicking here.
Interactive Map Viewer
- Found here: Interactive Map Viewer