High-Speed Broadband Critical to New Hampshire Business Growth

  • NH Broadband Mapping & Planning Program
CONCORD, NH – New Hampshire has a critical need for reliable, high-speed broadband for the current and future needs of businesses throughout the state, according to survey results released by Live Free and Start, a New Hampshirestate initiative supporting the development and growth of innovative companies, the NH Broadband Mapping & Planning Program at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), and the NH Division of Economic Development at the Department of Business and Economic Affairs.

New Hampshire businesses and citizens require access to broadband to conduct daily activities on an ever-increasing basis. Broadband is not only critical for businesses to communicate with customers and staff and market their products and services, it is also crucial for the delivery of health care and education, efficient government operations, and public safety.

Universal and Affordable Broadband Service a Must
“Broadband technology enables the citizens of our state, country and the world, to enjoy unprecedented business, economic development, and quality of life opportunities,” said University of New Hampshire Broadband Center of Excellence (BCoE) Executive Director Dr. Rouzbeh Yassini. “Like having easy access to potable water and electricity in the past, having universal and affordable broadband service is a must today,” he added.

The survey collected data from businesses across the state on various characteristics of their primary business, their current broadband access, and their expected future broadband requirements. The results will be used to help inform economic development planning efforts and to assist public policymakers as they work to enhance and remove barriers to the availability, adoption, and affordability of broadband throughout the State of New Hampshire.

Key findings in the survey include the following:

  • 99 percent agree that high-speed internet (broadband) is important to their primary business current needs today.

  • 83 percent say that high-speed broadband will become more important to their business in the next 5 to 10 years.

  • While 91 percent use the internet for communications with staff and customers, 74 percent utilize the internet for marketing, advertising, and social media, 70 percent use the internet for downloading large files, 49 percent are utilizing cloud-based services, and 29 percent provide Wi-Fi for public use.

  • 55 percent of respondents say their internet access speed is sufficient for their primary business needs today

  • 29 percent of the responding businesses are home-based and unable to secure services to fit their needs because of availability and/or cost.

  • 74 percent of businesses say it is important for employees to be able to work from home. 29 percent of businesses say all their employees work from home some hours every month and 44 percent of businesses say that faster and more reliable internet would allow for more employees to work from home.

New Hampshire is a rural state that has many unique challenges to the deployment of broadband. The state is fortunate to have industry partners that have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into the infrastructure to improve availability and capacity. Despite their substantial investment, there is much more work to do to meet current and future business broadband requirements. We must continue to expand partnerships with industry and identify best practices in other states where industry, communities, non-profits, and state partners have come together to find creative cost-effective solutions to solving the broadband needs of its businesses and citizens.

Please visit http://iwantbroadbandnh.orgto access the full survey results and a brief document presenting survey highlights. The broadband business survey was funded by the New Hampshire Telecommunications Planning and Development Advisory Committee at the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, the New Hampshire Broadband Mapping & Planning Program at UNH, and the UNH Broadband Center of Excellence.


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