Today's guests were Seth Wheeler and Robert Cruckshank of the NH Electric Coop...
in attendance: Denise, Tony, Sue Ben, Bill, Sara, Lisa, Steve Alex, Mike, Sharon
Guest Julia Lafleur PSU office of advancement
Speakers: Seth Wheeler and Robert Cruckshank, New Hampshire Broadband, powered by NHEC
Ben opened the meeting with the pledge, prayer and a song.
Congratulations to Ken for 8 years of Rotary service
Sue introduced her two guest to explain the new broadband rollout by NHEC
Seth gave a history of NHEC  bringing electricity to underserved parts of NH in 1930. The first pole was struck in Leominster and the co-op was founded by farmers, town officials with loans. History is being repeated with this new program as COVID has put a spotlight on the inequities of broadband serves. The co-op members overwhelmingly voted for a new platform to create a new subsidiary, NH Broadband. The first connection will once more be in Leominster. The high speed service will be offered to all underserved members and is far superior to all other current services. Towns will not be charged for installations. NHEC owns and maintains the fiber service to 100,010 poles. The poles will be deemed fiber ready after modifications as many companies use poles for different services. 
Ben asked about the lifespan of fiber vs other options. Bob stated that it is in a class of its own, long lasting, low rate of decay and reaches home to home via passive network with no amps or repeaters.
Alex asked about competitors and oversight of coverage. Bob informed us that there is no overbuild over each other. NHEC does not compete with other electrical services.
Steve asked about current fiber in use in downtown Plymouth. Bob told us that current use is point to point and the new program will be multi point using the current fiber as a backbone.
Ben asked about customer choice. Rob explained if you already have broadband, no need to change, this is for those underserved.
the state has been divided into 5 zones and phases. there will be 4,000 miles of fiber. IF you are within 1,000 feet of the pole, you can connect with no additional charge. 
The website NH, will be live on Friday for sign ups via address.
     Mike asked if the pandemic had driven the program and the answer was yes, schools, town offices, and emergency services will all benefit now.
     Sue asked about accessing the website without broadband, and was told the majority of all hits to the website will be via cell phone use.
     Ken asked about financing for the build. the CARES Act and pandemic relief funds provided the funds.
     Steve asked  about the effects of broadband service on real estate prices and was told $20,000. increase was possible.
      Two different services will be offered. 25 mbg @ $49.95 and 1 gig @ $89.95.
     Alex asked about most remote being last connected and was told no, underserved is the priority. 
Ben then asked for committee reports.
Bill reported the desk being delivered this week.
Denise reported no additional request for volunteers at vaccine clinics
Ken stated that the fund raising efforts are still exploring outdoor options
Lisa stated she is available to copy and digitize any documents for the scholarship committee.
Lisa reported that PSU will be airing a Town Hall meeting via Zoom tonight to explain the recent closing of services and classes due to the COVID outbreak on campus. 
Steve paid in a Happy $ for the photo in the paper of Susan documenting the state designation of the Grange as a historic building.
Tony will return with NH Trivia to our next meeting
The Board will meet on Friday of this week.
Respectfully submitted,