Deal with Comcast includes high-speed internet in North Lyndeborough

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 5/23/2022 2:05:15 PM

Lyndeborough Town Administrator Russ Boland said the town has been working on bringing high-speed internet to residents the entire eight years he has been there.

At one point, he said the town was talking to a company from Vermont about providing community wireless, including bouncing the signal from telephone pole to telephone pole, but it did not work out topographically or financially.

“It’s something we’ve been working aggressively on,” he said.

That work appears to finally be paying off. TDS Telecom is installing high-speed internet in the areas served by the 654 phone exchange, with plans to finish by the end of the year. And on Wednesday night, Select Board members approved a franchise plan with Comcast that will install telephone, cable and high-speed internet services for the 68 homes in the 487 exchange in North Lyndeborough.

“It has been a long time coming,” Boland said. “They hope to start soon, and they hope to be done by the end of the year.”

North Lyndeborough is currently served by Consolidated Communications, but state Rep. Lisa Post, whose multiple town positions include chair of the town’s Broadband Committee, said the company would not be able to install high-speed internet before 2026.

“They were very helpful, but we weren’t able to really wait,” she said. “We just weren’t going to be able to be on their schedule.”

During power outages, Post said North Lyndeborough residents would lose cellphone service and internet, meaning they would not be able to reach emergency services. She said “people were really feeling it during COVID” trying to work and attend school without high-speed internet, and that residents told her they had trouble selling their homes without the service.

The Comcast agreement is a public-private partnership, with the town paying $100,000 that will come from American Rescue Plan Act funds. Boland said North Lyndeborough is considered an underserved area, making it eligible for APRA funds to be used on high-speed internet.

“We’re eager to get it off the ground,” Post said. “Everybody’s very excited. It’s a wonderful thing.”

Selectmen formed the Broadband Committee about a year ago. Along with Post, its members are Michael Decubellis, Lesmary Ebert, Arthur Napolitano, Sandy Schoen and  Alex Simovici, and Boland said they deserve a lot of credit.

“Those individuals really pulled this together,” he said.

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