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Peterborough

Town officials stand behind broadband

Peterborough officials are standing behind a Senate bill allowing towns to bond to expand internet services, after a similar House bill appears to be stalled in committee. SB 170 seeks to amend a current law that prevents towns from bonding to pay for internet coverage in areas where a provider is already present. The bill is currently in committee, being considered by the Public and Municipal Affairs Committee. Adam Hamilton, who is a member of both the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and a member of Peterborough’s Economic Development Authority has started a petition in support of the Senate bill.

“Bonding for broadband would be no different that any other municipal infrastructure — like water, sewer, airports, schools,” wrote Hamilton on the petition page. “This is an economic development, workforce, and competitiveness issue.”

The bill is identical to one that was also proposed in the House this year, as HB 191, which last month was voted 14-7 by the Science and Technology Committee as inexpedient to legislate — which kills the bill if the house adopts the committee recommendation. Peterborough officials testified in favor of HB 191, and are also backing the Senate-introduced bill. The bill was even sponsored by state Rep. Peter Leishman, Peterborough’s representative, as well as by fellow Monadnock region reps Frank Sterling (R-Jaffrey) and Marjorie Porter (D-Hillsborough).

Leishman said the intent behind the House bill was not for towns to be acting as competition against private industry, but to give them options to provide better service where providers are not interested due to low customer volume, or even to work with providers to extend their use. Peterborough representatives, including the Select Board, argued for the bill, citing the need for high-speed internet both for business and private use, and the importance of having as many options as possible to get service to unserved and underserved areas. In his petition, Hamilton cited the increasing use of the Internet for critical areas of life – working from home, access to school materials and classes, and telemedicine to name a few, saying that the need for high-speed internet is and issue that impacts both businesses and private individuals.

The petition is available online at Change.org, and can be found by searching Hamilton’s name.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext.

244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com.

Public sector urged to join up for faster broadband

December 29, 2016

by: Nic Fildes1, Telecoms Correspondent

The government has called for public sector bodies to club together to be anchor tenants for faster broadband networks2 in parts of the country not yet connected to full fibre-optic lines. The Department for Culture Media and Sport has called for evidence from the telecoms industry as to how public sector buildings including council offices, libraries, schools, NHS premises, police authorities and GP surgeries could act as “demand aggregators” for the surrounding areas. A large public sector contract that locks in revenue for a telecoms operator would help justify the cost of laying full-fibre networks across a town.

It would also provide the stimulus for companies including CityFibre, Hyperoptic and Gigaclear looking to lay fibre to compete with Openreach,3 BT’s engineering unit, and Virgin Media4, which are spending billions of pounds upgrading their own networks.

“The government would like to explore taking further local approaches to public sector demand aggregation, where local bodies use public sector buildings as ‘anchor’ customers in a way that enables the market to extend coverage into surrounding local areas,” the DCMS document states.

UK Broadband

The government gave the example of Peterborough City Council, which signed a deal with CityFibre in 2013 to connect 107 public sites. The lines were then extended to another 220 locations this year. The company laid 90km of fibre in the city and wants to use the same model to expand to dozens of cities across the UK. DCMS said that the public sector is a large buyer of internet connectivity and has in the past signed deals with telecoms companies to supply multiple sites to save money. But there has been little encouragement for local bodies to co-ordinate an approach that could stimulate greater investment in broadband infrastructure.

It also called for a greater use of public infrastructure including ducts, lampposts and the fibre network owned by Network Rail to install faster broadband and mobile networks. The consultation, which runs to January 31, aims to define the role that the government should play in stimulating the market to invest. Openreach plans to deploy a technology called G.Fast that still relies on copper for a portion of the connection to rapidly speed up the country’s broadband speeds5 while spreading more full fibre to high streets and business parks.

That has led to heated debate in the industry over whether Britain will be left behind as other countries invest in full-fibre networks. DCMS did not rule out the use of such technologies if they can deliver the same speed and cost benefits as full-fibre networks but has made its preference for a total upgrade clear in its call for evidence. Matt Hancock, the minister of state for digital and culture, said: “In order to move to the next level of ubiquitous high speeds and reliability it is clear that, whilst there a number of interim technologies giving connectivity at even faster speeds, full-fibre is the future.”

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References

  1. ^ Nic Fildes (www.ft.com)
  2. ^ faster broadband networks (www.ft.com)
  3. ^ Openreach, (www.ft.com)
  4. ^ Virgin Media (markets.ft.com)
  5. ^ rapidly speed up the country’s broadband speeds (www.ft.com)

Support listings Jan.

10, 2016

Listings for support group meetings around the region for the entire week appear each Sunday in The Sentinel. The daily Bulletin Board appears on Page C4.

Sunday

AA Men s Meeting Munsonville, 6:30-7 p.m., Chapel By the Lake.

Al-anon, for family and friends of alcoholics, 5 p.m., St. James Episcopal Church (use back door), 44 West St., Keene.

Jeannine, 352-1705.

Big Book Step Study, an Alcoholics Anonymous group, 5 p.m., Keene Serenity Center, 36 Carpenter St., Keene.

CODA, a 12-step group for healthy relationships, 7 p.m., United Church of Christ, Central Square, rear entrance near Bank of America, Keene.

352-4517.

Discussion Group, an Alcoholic Anonymous group, 7 p.m., First Congregational Church, 36 Main St., Hinsdale.

Fitzwilliam Sunday Night AA Group, 7-8 p.m., Meadowood Assembly Hall, Fitzwilliam.

585-2237.

Keep It Simple Men s Group, an Alcoholics Anonymous group, 7:30 p.m., Chapel By the Lake, Route 9A, Granite Lake, Munsonville.

Mother s Care Program, for pregnant and new mothers, Monadnock Family Resource Center, 30 Washington St., Keene.

357-6870.

Narcotics Anonymous, 6:30 p.m., Church of Christ, Arch Street, Keene.

802-773-5575.

Original Group, an Alcoholics Anonymous group, 7 p.m., Meadowood Hall, Bowkerville Road, Fitzwilliam.

Overeaters Anonymous, 6-7 p.m., Monadnock Community Hospital, Conference room 1, Peterborough.

Sunday Serenity Group, an Alcoholics Anonymous group, 10 a.m., 36 Carpenter St., Keene. Monday

Al-Anon, Keep it Simple Group, noon-1 p.m., Clairveaux Center, St. Bernard s Church, Keene.

Al-Anon, for friends and families of alcoholics, 7:30 p.m., United Church, Main Street, Winchester.

As Bill Sees It Group, an Alcoholics Anonymous group, 7 p.m., Congregational Church, Washington Square, Walpole.

Cancer Caregiver Support Group, 4-5:30 p.m., 19 Federal St., MAPS Office, Keene. Meg, 355-2244, extension 118.

Drop-In Bereavement Support, noon-1 p.m., Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services, 45 Main St., Peterborough. Lynn, 352-2253. www.hcsservices.org1.

Food Issues Support, group support for those who identify as having an issue with food including anorexia, bulimia, binging, purging, over-eating, etc., 10:45-11:45 a.m., Monadnock Area Peer Support Agency, 64 Beaver St., Keene.

352-5093. www.monadnockpsa.org2.

In the Company of Sisters, cancer group for women, 7 p.m., Joy s Network at the Hannah Grimes Center, 25 Roxbury St., Keene. Kimberley, 762-1800.

Narcotics Anonymous, 6:30-7:30 p.m., First Baptist Church, 105 Maple Ave., Keene.

Nurturing Parents, 6-8 p.m., Turning Point of Windham County, 112 Hardwood Way, Brattleboro.

802-257-5600 or

Alcoholics Anonymous, 800-593-3330.

Multiple Sclerosis Support Group, 800-FIGHT-MS.

The Addictions Institute for Families, 357-6700.

Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention, 888-352-2782.

Narconon, help with addictions, 800-556-8885.

Warm Line, a confidential and non-judgmental peer support service, 866-352-5093 or 352-5093.

References

  1. ^ www.hcsservices.org (www.hcsservices.org)
  2. ^ www.monadnockpsa.org (www.monadnockpsa.org)
  3. ^