NH Delegation Welcomes Nearly $12 Million Federal Grant to Build and Improve Broadband Infrastructure in Grafton County
Washington, September 6, 2023
(Washington, DC) - U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) announced today with Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) that $11,969,000 in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding was awarded to Grafton County to develop a 222-mile fiber optic cable that will provide surrounding communities with faster and dependable high-speed internet. This project will provide the infrastructure needed to support future growth and expansion of Grafton County’s broadband needs with minimal additional investment. Senators Shaheen and Hassan helped negotiate the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the full delegation supported it.
“Providing the resources to connect unserved and underserved communities to reliable, high-speed internet is one of the best investments we can make to secure future growth in our state,” said Senator Shaheen, a key negotiator of the bipartisan infrastructure law. “I’m proud to welcome this $12 million federal grant to build-out over two hundred miles of fiber optic cable that will help deliver faster internet service to Granite Staters in Grafton County.”
This project was funded through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program, a $1 billion program that provides funding for the construction, improvement or acquisition of middle mile infrastructure. The purpose of the grant program is to expand and extend middle mile infrastructure to reduce the cost of connecting areas that are unserved or underserved to the internet backbone. The program was created and funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Last year, Shaheen joined her colleagues in encouraging the NTIA to quickly implement the $65 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for broadband expansion efforts across the country.
Shaheen and Hassan helped negotiate the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law), which provides a $550 billion investment in our nation’s core infrastructure priorities – including roads and bridges, rail, transit, ports, airports, the electric grid, water systems and broadband. Shaheen co-led negotiations on broadband and on water infrastructure provisions and secured robust funding – $10 billion – to address PFAS contamination nationwide. Shaheen leads legislative action in the Senate to deliver broadband infrastructure investments for rural and underserved communities. Last month, Shaheen and Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) reintroduced their bipartisan legislation, the Small Business Broadband and Emerging Information Technology Enhancement Act, that would improve programs operated by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address problems around the lack of broadband internet and other emerging information technology resources, and better assist small businesses in accessing and successfully adopting these tools.
Senator Hassan helped negotiate key provisions in the bipartisan infrastructure law on high-speed internet, passenger rail, coastal resiliency, and cybersecurity. The bill also incorporates elements of bipartisan legislation Senator Hassan authored to support rural broadband using private activity bonds to help pay for high-speed internet infrastructure in unserved locations, an approach that allows state and local governments to access and leverage new sources of capital and attract investment for broadband.