MOULTONBOROUGH — Moultonborough has launched a broadband mapping survey to determine areas of town without Internet access, or areas where Internet speeds are not fast enough.
Town Administrator Carter Terenzini and the town’s Select Board announced the survey and the broadband mapping effort in the town’s Summer Newsletter recently mailed to residents.
Officials said the town needs much better data on where there are gaps in the system or where speeds may not meet needs for current applications.
Residents with Internet access are asked to take a speed test on their computer, accessible on www.iwantbroadbandnh.org/speed_test. It’s the only speed test site established by the New Hampshire Broadband Mapping and Planning Program that will be used to update the coverage maps.
“Our goal is that everyone, residences and businesses, have access to the Internet, along with enough speed for modern Internet applications. This survey is the first step in reaching that goal,” said Select Board Chair Jonathan Tolman.
Terenzini said some areas of town including residential developments on Sheridan and Red Hill roads were not built with a conduit for extended broadband cable. While the Planning Board did recently change the regulations to ensure that developments with underground wires and cable provide conduit for broadband connection or extension, some areas of town lack enough residences to get the high-speed service.
“The major challenge is one of density,” said Terenzini. He said Time Warner Cable has a residential density requirement of 15 houses per mile. “It costs money to string cable. You have to have enough customers to recover costs.”
While two-thirds of the town’s residences have broadcast television cable, not all have broadband for higher Internet access speeds.
“Even if the density requirement is met, the company will, incorrectly we believe, have to apply a ‘standard installation rule’ that states if a house if further back than 150 from the road, the claim is the house is not to be counted. That is an issue we’ll work with the company and try to resolve,” he said.
Residents without Internet access can participate in the survey in several ways. One is to fill out an “I Want BroadBand” form available at town hall or the public safety building. Another is to have a friend with Internet acess send an email with your name, address and phone number to the e-mail address, email@example.com. A third way is to fill out the “I Want BroadBand” survey on a borrowed computer at www.moultonboroughnh.gov. Click on “town Committees,” click on “BroadBand Working Group,” and then on “I Want BroadBand.”
Residents who would like to hear more about the broadband effort, or those who would like a speaker for their club or neighborhood association, can contact Terenzini at town hall, or by mail at P.O. Box 139, Moultonborough,NH 03254, or by phone at 476-2347, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Survey results will be continually updated on the town’s website.