New England broadband consulting firm Mission Broadband has announced the recent hire of Lee Willette as project & operational support manager.Read more
Tom Pazdera has been named the new vice president and general manager of ND Paper’s Rumford division. Pazdera brings three decades of experience in the pulp, packaging and paper industry with internationally recognized companies including International Paper, MeadWestvaco, Boise Paper and, most recently, as president and unit head of AV Terrace Bay, in Ontario, Canada.Read more
In 2020, Mission Broadband launched a regional survey to collect data to identify gaps in broadband infrastructure throughout Maine and New Hampshire. The survey, which received more than 2,600 responses, was shared across the state in conjunction with community groups, towns, and municipalities.
The statewide statistics reveal disparities in broadband access and affordability, a divide that has been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Roughly 47 percent of respondents in Maine and 57 percent of respondents in New Hampshire indicated that their service has not met their needs since the start of the pandemic. This is a significant barrier for workers telecommuting, parents and teachers administering distance learning, and doctors relying on telehealth to treat their patients. In Maine, the top reasons for dissatisfaction included slow connectivity, unreliable service, and affordability. New Hampshire residents experience too many outages in addition to unreliable service and slow connectivity. In Maine, the top functions performed over the internet included telecommuting at 61 percent, K-12 education at 32 percent, and telehealth at 31 percent. In New Hampshire, top functions performed over the internet included online banking, tax filing, insurance, and paying bills. Almost 95 percent considered internet access to be “very important” to their households.
Having adequate internet access is no longer just for entertainment. It is a necessity for the economy and for our livelihoods. These survey results identified broadband challenges experienced by Maine and New Hampshire residents and will help develop the right broadband roadmap going forward.