NH State Senator Urges High Speed for Rural Residents

We've been keeping an eye on Verizon's proposed sale of 1.5 million Vermont land lines to FairPoint Communications, and the likely negative impact it will have on high speed internet access in rural New England. FairPoint, it seems, is in no position to build the infrastructure needed to bring high speed internet to rural communities.

In a recent op-ed column in the Concord Monitor, New Hampshire State Senator Deborah Reynolds voices her concern over these developments. She also offers some suggestions to the state regulators who are reviewing the Verizon-FairPoint plan:

In any regulatory proceeding, it is essential that all sides get a fair shake. In the end, however, protecting the interests of the rural residents of New Hampshire must be paramount.

Reynolds notes that just 59% of the people in New Hampshire can connect to high speed internet service, placing it dead last among the 50 states. She understands the reasons for this, and why the Verizon-FairPoint deal will not make it any better:

For many rural New Hampshire residents, the tantalizing television commercials offering high-speed internet service promise a ticket to a future that is just out of reach.

To help make that future within reach, Reynolds calls for a statewide plan to expand high speed internet access. Such a plan would be a boon to New Hampshire's economy, helping keep its young and talented workers from leaving, attracting innovation and economic development, and improving education and health care for all residents.

Will FairPoint be able to achieve this? All signs point to No.

Rural Areas Need High Speed Internet

The Point? It's Not Fair

The Proposed FairPoint Purchase of Verizon's Properties Would Place Consumers, Workers and Communities at Risk