How Bad is Internet Access in Greenfield?

According to broadbandnow.com

The average download speed in Greenfield is 8.86 Mbps. This is 89.4% slower than the average in New Hampshire and 714.1% slower than the national average.

  • The average internet download speed in New Hampshire is 83.48 mbps.

  • 94.4% of New Hampshirites have access to 100mbps or faster broadband.

  • In Hillsborough County, approximately 8,000 people do not have access to 25mbps wired broadband.

  • 93% of Greenfield residents are still severely limited in wired broadband choices.

  • Greenfield is the 225th most connected city in New Hampshire behind Antrim, New Boston, Wilton, Peterborough, and Hancock.

(Once we have collated all of our survey results we will update this FAQ to reflect that information as well.)

What will it cost the town to get broadband?

If we successfully follow the SB 170 model as Chesterfield, Dublin, Harrisville, Rindge, and Westmoreland are doing then: Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada thing.

A contract will be agreed on with the provider stipulating that the bond will be paid for by user fees. There will be no tax impact.

There is no minimum number of subscribers nor are there any other conditions that must be met by the town or taxpayers.

"There's no such thing as a free lunch!" That's true and those who choose to be subscribers will pay a fee, which the provider will use to repay the town. Any shortfall will be made up by the provider - which serves as an incentive to provide good service at an attractive price.

If the provider is unable to provide internet service and/or pay the town for its debts, the town has collateral in its possession: a complete fiber network that once completed is worth approximately $2-4 million with an already established customer base. Any Internet Service Provider would jump at the opportunity to take on this turnkey operation, and the town would be able to stipulate a similar user fee structure to resume paying for the bond.

What will this cost for subscribers?

Current pricing in Dublin (our price will be very similar)

How much will we need to bond?

The bond amount is expected to be $987,012. This is down substantially from the initial estimate of $1.45 million!

Remember -- there will be no tax impact!

What is fiber and why is it better?

Fiber optics are bundles of glass cables that connect and send the signals of the internet using light pulses. This technology can send 100 times more information and the signal will not weaken with distance as it does with the older copper cables. The cables are strung on the existing telephone poles and look no different than what we are used to seeing.

How will having broadband affect the town economically?

The Committee has identified 2 major ways that broadband impacts the economic viability of our town.

Home Resale Value: Greenfield is surrounded by communities offering fiber optic or cable networks. It is a well known fact that home buyers today want to locate in towns that provide high speed Internet connections so they can work from home, allow their children to do homework, and enjoy streaming programs. In order to keep Greenfield as a town with a favorable home resale market, we need high speed internet.

Business Development: Due to the communication needs of today's businesses, no company will currently locate in an area that does not have high speed Internet access. New business means increased tax revenue which, in-turn, will help lower residential property taxes.

Why wasn't this done years ago?

In 2014 the Greenfield Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) did make a valiant effort to bring high speed internet to Greenfield. The meeting minutes are a sad tale of high expectations and dashed hopes. The basic problem was that there was no mechanism to pay for it.

At that time municipalities were not allowed to bond for this sort of infrastructure and the potential providers were not willing to spend their money in sparsely populated rural areas when they could get a much higher return on investment building networks in densely populated urban areas. Surrounding towns that had previously managed to bring in cable (Peterborough, Hancock, Francestown) had some high speed service - but only in the built up areas. People out in the woods still had no service even if those downtown did and there was no way to convince the providers to expand service to everyone.

SB170 changed that in 2018. It is now possible for public-private partnerships to be established and solve the financing problem.

What's in it for the service provider?

They get to operate the network without the capital expense being on their books. From an accounting perspective this is a more efficient use of their resources. Rather than having to allocate capital and slowly amortize an asset over 20 years, they can quickly start reporting profits from operations.

What’s all the fuss about 5G?

5G requires many antennas much closer together than previous wireless technologies — like, several per city block. Does that mean that having fiber in Greenfield will inevitably lead to the installation of small-cell 5G antennas on every telephone pole in town?

In a word, "no". Just as with all past wireless communications technologies, rural areas such as Greenfield will not see service until long, long after dense urban areas have been upgraded.