Dublin broadband schedule not affected by coronavirus, Temple residents completing internet access survey

  • Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/20/2020 4:13:06 PM

Dublin’s path to broadband remains unhindered by the coronavirus, while Temple residents have through the end of the month to complete a survey about their access to internet.

“While the market’s been volatile, at this moment we are expecting there will be a bond issue in July, and are moving forward accordingly,” said Dublin Broadband Committee chair Sturdy Thomas, which is the same timeline the committee expected to be on earlier this year, pending voter approval. July is one of two times a year that the New Hampshire Municipal Bond Bank, bundles municipal bonds from throughout the state, Thomas said. Although he said he’s heard nothing to indicate a change in schedule, Thomas did say the organization could delay the process if they weren’t able to get favorable rates in July.

In Temple, 50 residents completed the broadband survey the first day it went online, Broadband Subcommittee Chair Jessica Hipp said. The survey encompasses questions about residents’ internet needs. The coronavirus pandemic seems to be raising residents’ awareness that current internet speeds and access are insufficient as some struggle to effectively work or attend school from home. “It’s really being stretched to the limits,” she said, and that the stay-at-home orders compelled the Subcommittee to expedite their plans for surveying residents.

Hipp noticed two trends in the anecdotal feedback she’s received. Respondents are either saying “I need this,” she said, or that they have satisfactory internet but wish there were competitive options for service so they could get a better price. The subcommittee is working on a timeline where they could potentially get all requisite steps together in time for a bond application this fall, Hipp said, if that turns out to be the best option for the town. The Broadband Subcommittee is a part of the Temple Community Planning Committee.

Residents first received paper copies of the survey during town meeting, and surveys are due by May 1. The online version is at the following link: forms.gle/zDwdA7Yco7cdSMHE9. The survey can also be printed and returned to the Mansfield Library outdoor drop box. The subcommittee requests one survey per household.


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