Western New Hampshire town will be first to build municipal broadband

Chesterfield to team with Consolidated Communications to build network

Voters in the town of Chesterfield, which sits on the Vermont border west of Keene, has become the first community in New Hampshire to take advantage of a new state law that allows communities to set up a municipal broadband network.

As a result of a town meeting vote, the town will be entering into a public-private partnership with Consolidated Communications to build a high-speed, fiber-to-the-premises Internet network directly to all homes and businesses.

Fiber-to-the-premises technology offers faster, highly reliable, broadband connectivity, which will be a significant boost to Internet speeds currently available in the rural town of Chesterfield, the company said.

“We were inspired by Chesterfield’s enthusiasm and willingness to work with us on a solution to improve and expand broadband services in their rural community,” said Rob Koester, vice president of consumer product at Consolidated.

New Hampshire towns were given the authority to issue bonds for broadband infrastructure when the state passed Senate Bill 170, sponsored last year by Sen. Jay Kahn, D-Keene, and Rep. John Bordenet, D-Keene.

“Having this type of partnership with Consolidated Communications provides a rural town like ours with innumerable economic development and quality-of-life benefits and opportunities that will, undoubtedly, have a lasting impact,” said Brad Roscoe, a former town selectman who has been spearheading Chesterfield’s broadband initiatives.

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