Bristol Officially Launches its High-Speed Internet ServiceSeptember 17, 2021 12:00 pm
High-speed internet is up and running in Bristol. The town officially “flipped the switch” on the new lightning speed broadband network at a ribbon cutting ceremony today at the historic Bristol Town Hall.
“This is the best, fastest internet you can get,” said Town Administrator Nicholas Coates. “This project opens a lot of doors for our business community, enables opportunities like telehealth for residents and creates more learning opportunities for our students.”
The Bristol Broadband Now network is the result of years of planning by the Bristol Economic Development Committee, Coates, and a public-private partnership with eX² Technology LLC of Omaha, Nebraska, which built the physical infrastructure for the fiber optic internet, and Hub66, based in Acton, Massachusetts, which will provide the internet service to businesses, residents and municipal buildings.
Coates said that Bristol was the only New Hampshire community to receive CARES Act funding for telecommunication infrastructure and that this investment is going to bring great benefits to the community.
“eX² is honored to have partnered with the Town of Bristol to help bring the Bristol Broadband Now network to life,” said Jay Jorgensen, Chief Operating Officer, eX² Technology. “As an economic and social development engine, this network asset will serve the Bristol community and beyond for decades to come, a true reason to celebrate.”
Hub66 is excited to become part of the Bristol community. In addition to providing internet service, Hub66 is building a network operations center in the Bristol Town Office as part of this project, which will serve as a base of operations. Inspired by their mission to close the gap of Internet accessibility with cutting-edge technology, Hub66 is rapidly expanding affordable, high-speed fiber Internet service throughout rural areas of New England.
“We have some amazing equipment being put into action in preparation for the future in Bristol and throughout the New England regions.” notes Andrea Vient, Chief Executive Officer for Hub66. “Internet connectivity is more than just speed, it’s about living your life and not thinking about whether your Internet is fast or reliable enough.”
US Sen. Maggie Hassan and US Rep. Ann McLane Kuster were also on hand at the ribbon cutting, joined by representatives from Gov. Chris Sununu’s office, US Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’ office, US Rep. Chris Pappas’ office, and local business owners and elected officials.
“Access to high-speed internet is a foundation of today’s modern economy, and I was glad to join in celebrating Bristol’s historic broadband project,” said Senator Hassan. “Whether you’re running your business, doing homework, or having a virtual doctor’s appointment, Granite Staters need reliable high-speed internet. I am glad to have helped secure funding for Bristol’s innovative broadband infrastructure projects, and I will continue working with my colleagues across the aisle to pass a bipartisan infrastructure package to invest in high-speed internet across our state.”
“Quality, high-speed internet access is key for our Granite State communities to thrive and grow in the 21st century economy–and I am thrilled to see this project enhancing Bristol’s economic competitiveness,” said Rep. Kuster. “The COVID-19 pandemic pulled back the curtain on the need for universal internet access. Whether it be for telehealth appointments, working remotely, or safe alternatives to in-person learning, this service will be a game-changer. I was proud to help deliver the funding to get this project over the finish line, and I look forward to expanding access to broadband across New Hampshire.”
A Public-Private Partnership
Because Bristol is a small rural town with about 3,000 people, it was a struggle to convince internet providers to invest in improving internet connectivity in the community. Expensive infrastructure upgrades were deemed economically unfeasible and had put high-speed internet and cellular service out of reach—up until now.
The project took a two-phase approach, building the infrastructure and upgrading the fiber network through the use of local, state and federal grant funding. The first phase, funded by a $1.52 million Connecting New Hampshire Emergency Broadband Expansion grant through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, created a 24-mile fiber route from town to the statewide NetworkNH system at Plymouth State University (PSU). Completed in December 2020, it will initially connect about 400 residents to the system with expansion planned for the future.
The second phase, which was recently completed, provides the additional fiber backbone needed to connect all Bristol municipal, educational and commercial buildings. This phase of the project was funded by $260,000 Northern Border Regional Commission grant and a town appropriation.
The goal of these two phases is to foster further public-private partnerships between the state’s top educational institutions, local businesses, and the regional high school. By working with companies like Freudenberg-NOK Sealing Technologies, which is under hiring constraints common throughout the region, there’s an opportunity to create programs that offer enhanced training and collaboration with the local high school and PSU.
“We want people to look at Bristol as an emerging tech hub, where start-ups can come and have access to the tools they need while also enjoying a high quality of life,” said Coates.
Expanding the Connection
Hub66 is offering fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) internet service to the roughly 400 homes located on the phase one route. Those eligible in the first phase will be notified by mail with details on how to sign up. This service area will continue to expand throughout town over the next five years providing fiber and wireless internet to the whole community. Hub66 will notify residents and businesses when they will be added and provide them with information about available services.
The next step is to take this initiative and expand it beyond Bristol’s borders. Bristol Broadband Now was awarded a grant with the Town of Hebron to create the next leg of a regional high-speed internet corridor that runs north to Plymouth, south down Route 3A, and back to Bristol. Concurrently, Coates is chairing the Grafton County Broadband Committee that is planning to build the network to every Town Hall in Grafton County through an $26.2 million infrastructure investment and future builds throughout each municipality.
About Bristol, NH
Bristol, NH, located about 25 miles northwest of Concord, has all the benefits of small town living with the advantage of having close proximity to many amenities. With about 3,000 year-round residents, Bristol is a scenic and historic town with a rich history of industry, agriculture, and recreation. It is at the southern tip of Newfound Lake and along the shores of five rivers, including the Pemigewasset, which is known for its fishing and white waters. With a friendly and lively downtown and many locally-owned businesses, Bristol is a welcoming place for both visitors and those who make it their home. For more information, visit the Bristol Economic Development site at www.bristolnhbusiness.com or main Town site at www.townofbristolnh.org.
Headquartered in Acton, MA with satellite locations expanding across the Northeast, Hub66 is a leading Internet Service Provider (ISP) that connects rural communities and businesses throughout New England. With a continuously expanding high-speed fixed wireless and fiber-optic network, Hub66 has the serviceability to connect over 2,500 residential and commercial locations. Delivering consistent, fast, and reliable high bandwidth fiber-optic connectivity solutions through their broadband, dedicated, and fixed wireless fiber infrastructures. For more information about Hub66, visit www.hub66.com.
About eX² Technology
eX² Technology, a Vivacity, LLC company, is a single source solution for those seeking to build, scale or future proof their communications infrastructure. We provide robust smart city, intelligent transportation, critical infrastructure and private network solutions and services with greater efficiency, less cost and a streamlined acquisition process. eX² specializes in turnkey network design-build-maintain services, network asset commercialization and assisting its customers with unique project financing options. For more information, please visit www.ex2technology.com.