Temple shooting for unanimous broadband bond approval

  • The Temple Village Green Committee beautifies Temple's public green spaces. Sept. 15, 2020. Staff photo by Abbe Hamilton

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 5/31/2021 3:01:29 PM

Temple is shooting for a unanimous approval of the town’s broadband internet bond at Town Meeting, Broadband subcommittee Chair Jessica Hipp said at Wednesday night’s bond hearing. The hearing was the second-to-last required step in the town’s process to entering a municipal internet agreement with Consolidated Communications, she said.

If the broadband bond passes by at least a two-thirds majority, Temple could see fiber installation start this fall, Hipp said. Although the State is set to pass an amended version of SB 85, which could provide up to 50 percent grant matching for municipal broadband projects, towns will not know if the legislature gets fully funded or anything else about the application process until later in the summer, likely after the bond sale, Hipp said. “For taxpayers, the grant funding isn’t going to make any difference,” she said: broadband bonding comes with no tax burden. However, the grant monies could reduce subscriber fees substantially if the bill winds up getting fully funded and Temple receives matching funds, she said.

All attendees of Wednesday night’s hearing were supporters with at least some understanding of the broadband bonding process, including Select Board members, who said they “fully back” the initiative. Hipp and Consolidated Communications rep Jeff McIver answered questions from the assembly, clarifying that existing CCI customers were allowed to keep their current DSL connection, but that the new fiber lines would likely deliver higher quality internet for equal or lower rates. Hipp said she encourages any Temple resident with lingering questions, or anyone who is planning to vote against the bond, to have a conversation with her prior to the June 12 Town Meeting vote.


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