Dissatisfied with Your Internet?

by Gerri Bernstein
The Francestown Broadband Committee needs your input! The Town Wide Broadband Survey is so very critical and now available to you! (details below).
 
Internet - what once was an accessory to living, has become an essential utility in our lives. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, families were finding internet-based work, communication, education, learning, shopping, controlling thermostats and security systems more and more dependent on high-speed internet connections, so-called “broadband.” In 2014 the average household had 5.2 Wi-Fi devices, in 2019 the average jumped to 11 devices tied to Wi-Fi for everyday life.
 
Since Covid-19, our internet speed has become even more critical. Many medical offices have closed, turning to video consultation, employment has transitioned to work-at-home wherever feasible, using Zoom or Cisco Web ex. Education has shifted to remote, necessitating adequate broadband for virtual, interactive learning. Shopping online, once a luxury, has become a preferred and safe way of obtaining necessary provisions and household supplies.
 
Our home-based businesses can more easily compete with those in urban areas when we have broadband, as using e-commerce, banking, government services, website marketing. Information gathering is easier and faster. Even the ways of generating supplemental income have been enhanced through on-line services such as eBay, Etsy, and Craigslist.
 
For those households in Francestown, slow internet speed can be a financial liability. The negative impact poor connectivity has on real estate values is astounding in rural communities. Studies have shown that home values suffer greatly and are often excluded from purchase consideration by buyers if the internet connection is slow or nonexistent. It has become that essential.
 
The Francestown Broadband Committee, in moving forward to try and secure viable service to those underserved (those below 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload) currently, is preparing to send out a “Request for Proposal” to various broadband providers. Additionally, NH has recently set aside $50 million dollars of Care Act funds to be used to enhance underserved broadband access in rural towns. These funds must be used by December. Filling out the survey will give the broadband committee our community's voice when filling out that application.
 
You’ll find this survey online by visiting www.francestownnh.org and clicking on Broadband Surveyat the top of the page. A link can also be found on Facebook Francestown Community Info page.
A paper survey will be mailed to every household, but can also be found at the Francestown P.O., Town Offices and Library. After completing the paper survey, please drop it off at the Town Office mail drop or the Library Book Drop.
 
It is critical to support our forthcoming proposals with verifiable data, even if you currently are satisfied with your service, which is why we respectfully ask you complete and return the survey. Thank you!