To The Daily Sun,

The current pandemic crisis brings home as never before how vital affordable broadband communication is. When in-person contacts, meetings, school sessions, medical appointments, and even visits to the library and restaurants grind to a halt, the internet is the glue that holds society together.

In Sandwich, a selectmen’s committee has been investigating ways of bringing broadband internet to every household. They have learned that there are more than 100 rural electric coops that have worked to bring broadband fiber internet access to every home. Even for those towns that have internet via cable, access to fiber broadband offers an alternative service that is both faster and less expensive. But here in New Hampshire, our Electric Coop has shown no interest in making their poles available for this service. The time has come for those of us who buy our electricity from the New Hampshire Electric Coop to act.

NHEC bylaws allow questions proposed by member petition to be included on the ballot. We are circulating a petition requesting that a question be included on the May 2020 ballot which specifically adds, “facilitating access to broadband internet for members" to NHEC’s charter. Since it is member owned, NHEC has an obligation to go beyond the base regulatory requirements imposed by the Public Utility Commission. The Coop should proactively encourage broadband developers to service its members.

Please go to this website and sign today: (http://www.nhbroadband.com/). We have only three more weeks to collect 200 additional signatures.

Tony Wagner, EdD

Sandwich

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