New Hampshire: Please Support the Majority Committee Report on HB 1180 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

New Hampshire: Please Support the Majority Committee Report on HB 1180

Letters to Officials

Dear Representative,

On behalf of the 8,940 members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) in New Hampshire, I am writing to urge you to support the Municipal and County Government Committee Majority Report rejecting House Bill 1180.

Current law permits municipalities to issue bonds for the purpose of building broadband network infrastructure in unserved areas of the state.  HB 1180 would expand this capability to cover areas where broadband infrastructure networks already exist.  At a time when local governments already face major financial challenges and struggle to balance their budgets, allowing them to issue bonds to duplicate existing network infrastructure would be an irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars.

According to the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 Broadband Progress Report, the percentage of households unserved by high speed broadband in New Hampshire has fallen from 17 percent in 2014 to 7 percent in 2015.  Only six states have a smaller unserved percentage of their rural population:  Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington.  Meanwhile, 40 percent of New Hampshire’s population lives in rural areas, while on average only 12 percent of the population in the six other states is rural.  Because current law allows municipalities to issue bonds in order to provide broadband infrastructure to unserved residents, no community should waste taxpayer dollars overbuilding existing networks that already reach its residents.

HB 1180 would not only open the floodgates to the overbuilding of expensive and unnecessary municipal broadband projects, but it would also discourage the creation of partnerships with private sector providers to connect unserved areas where networks do not currently provide service.  I urge you to stand against broadband network infrastructure overbuilding by supporting the Municipal and County Government Majority Committee Report and rejecting HB 1180.  Thank you for your consideration of CCAGW's position on this important issue. 

 

Sincerely,

Thomas A. Schatz

President, CCAGW

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