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UNH Announces Statewide Broadband Internet Forums
By David Sims
EOS Science Writer

September 15, 2010

DURHAM, N.H. -- The New Hampshire Broadband Mapping Project (NHBMP), which is managed by the University of New Hampshire's Geographically Referenced Analysis and Information Transfer (NH GRANIT) project, will host a series of public forums around the state beginning September 28, 2010, through mid-November. The informational meetings will familiarize participants with the NHBMP's ongoing efforts to inventory and map broadband coverage available across New Hampshire, and will collect important input from residents, businesses, and institutions on where broadband is and is not currently available.

The NHBMP is a coordinated, multi-agency initiative funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and is part of a national effort to expand high-speed Internet access and adoption through improved data collection and broadband planning.

GRANIT, which is housed at the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS), serves as the statewide geographic information system (GIS) clearinghouse. In January 2010, the U.S. Department of Commerce awarded GRANIT approximately $1.7 million to manage NHBMP.

"The results of the mapping activity will be an important determinant in planning for future broadband access across the state, and that access is vital for all citizens in terms of economic development, education, health care, public health and safety, and quality of life issues," says GRANIT director Fay Rubin of the Complex Systems Research Center at EOS. She adds, "We encourage citizens to join the NHBMP and provide input to this important mapping project."

For more information on the project, please visit http://iwantbroadbandnh.org.

Sessions will be co-hosted by UNH, the nine regional planning commissions, and the N.H. Department of Resources and Economic Development. Alphabetically by town/city, they are scheduled as follows:

Claremont Tuesday, November 2, 2010, 6-8 PM River Valley Community College, Room 226 1 College Drive, Claremont, NH 03473 Contact Rachel Ruppel at the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission (rruppel@uvlsrpc.org) for further information.

Concord Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 5:30-7:30 PM Horseshoe Pond Place, Community Resource Room 28 Commercial St., Concord, NH 03301 Contact Craig Tufts at the Central NH Regional Planning Commission (ctufts@cnhrpc.org) for further information.

Exeter Tuesday, October 19, 2010, 6-8 PM Exeter Public Library 4 Chestnut St., Exeter, NH 03833 Contact Rob Pruyne at the Rockingham Planning Commission (rpruyne@rpc-nh.org) for further information.

Groveton Tuesday, October 26, 2010, 5:30-7:30 PM Northumberland Town Hall 10 Union Square, Groveton, NH 03582 Contact James Steele at the North Country Council (jsteele@nccouncil.org) for further information.

Haverhill Monday, October 18, 2010, 5:30-7:30 PM Haverhill Town Offices 2975 Dartmouth College Highway, North Haverhill, NH 03774 Contact James Steele at the North Country Council (jsteele@nccouncil.org) for further information.

Keene Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 6:30-8:30 PM Heberton Hall/Keene Public Library 60 Winter St., Keene NH 03431 Contact Michael Blair at the Southwest Region Planning Commission (mblair@swrpc.org) for further information.

Lebanon Tuesday, October 5, 2010, 6-8 PM Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission 10 Water St., Lebanon, NH 03766 Contact Rachel Ruppel at the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission (rruppel@uvlsrpc.org) for further information.

Manchester Thursday, September 30, 2010, 6:30-8:30 PM Southern NH Planning Commission 438 Dubuque St., Manchester, NH 03102 Contact Amy Kizak at the Southern NH Planning Commission (akizak@snhpc.org) for further information.

Milford Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 6:30-8:30 PM Milford Town Hall, Banquet Hall (3rd floor) 1 Union Square, Milford, NH 03055 Contact Steve Schaffer at the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (steves@nashuarpc.org) for further information.

Ossipee Thursday, October 21, 2010, 6:30-8:30 PM Ossipee Town Hall 7 Dore St., Ossipee, NH 03864 Contact Michelle Therrien at the Lakes Region Planning Commission (lrpc@lakesrpc.org) for further information.

Peterborough Monday, October 4, 2010, 6:30-8:30 PM Peterborough Town House 1 Grove St., Peterborough, NH 03458 Contact Michael Blair at the Southwest Region Planning Commission (mblair@swrpc.org) for further information.

Plymouth Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 5:30-7:30 PM Plymouth Town Hall 6 Post Office Square, Plymouth, NH 03264 Contact James Steele at the North Country Council (jsteele@nccouncil.org) for further information.

Rochester Monday, October 25, 2010, 6:30-8:30 PM Rochester Community Center, Conference Room 1 150 Wakefield St., Rochester, NH 03857 Contact Dan Camara at the Strafford Regional Planning Commission (dcamara@strafford.org) for further information.