Broadband Access Update for Mason from Fairpoint

Charles V. Moser, Chairman
Bernard O’Grady
Louise Lavoie

Dear Board of Selectmen,

I would like to again thank you for giving me the opportunity to visit with your residents to understand their concerns, wants and needs where it comes to broadband access! I came away with a great deal of information and a host of requests.

In the two weeks since we met I have worked with members of multiple FairPoint teams to find answers and creative solutions. The complexity of the moving parts – as each solution has the potential to affect others – means that more work is necessary within engineering to generate the estimate that we discussed. I apologize for the delay but we want it to be as accurate as possible. In addition I am exploring possible alternative ways to finance any expansion such as ERate for the schools and whether any of the identified census blocks could be considered for Connect America Funds. I expect to have the estimate for you within a couple of weeks.

To recap the specific issues that I continue to pursue:
Unserved areas of Mason. It became apparent when the map was highlighted, that those without service are in two specific geographic areas:

From a north point of Wolf Millbrandt’s area, down Starchmill Road, down Wilton Road, to south of Pullman Road, and across Russell Road – basically a large triangular area. Today these homes are served from multiple FairPoint access facilities. Preliminary engineering included upgrades to all of these different access points and proved extremely expensive. An alternative plan is being considered to serve that geographic area from one new access point in the center of the area. This will be part of the estimate we will provide.
Specific concerns in this geographic area came from:
Wolf Millbrandt – as he is so close to the TDS border, he asked if he could be redistricted to them (presuming they could offer DSL). We have confirmed that redistricting is possible and are in contact with TDS to determine if DSL service would be available and how redistricting could be achieved. We will be in direct contact with Wolf and will ask him to inquire as to other neighbors who might be similarly interested. As Wolf, and his neighbors, are also in the possible reengineered area we will look at both possible solutions.
Rick Hough – wants service to extend out Starch Mill Road. He would also be positively affected by a new access point.
Bill Schongar – wants service for Wilton Road and the Pullman Road “development.” He would also be positively affected by a new access point.

Withee Brook Road – extending service. This will be part of the estimate we will provide.
Arnold McNamara at 73 and 31, 51, 73 & 99 are not currently served with broadband. Wants service for this area.

594 Sand Road was identified on the map as being unserved. However our records show that address as qualifying for 7MB speed. Please ask this resident to contact me if there are any further questions.
741 Mill Road. Please ask this resident to contact me as I need further information about current broadband availability and what is desired.

Want more service/higher bandwidth. The following addresses would like increased DSL speeds and/or Carrier Ethernet Service (CES) depending on needs:

Mason Elementary School – currently has 3Mbps service but need more. Our Gov/Ed Account Manager will be contacting Brady Schulman (who is volunteering with the school on IT services) to discuss a high bandwidth CES solution to provide the school with much needed access for teachers and students.
Brady Schulman at 143 Briggs Road and neighbor at 126 currently have high speed internet 15 Mbps/1 but need/want higher upload speeds. Our Sales Manager will be contacting Brady to talk about CES for that area of town and what the parameters are to make it cost effective (i.e. how many people would need to order it to make the investment – be it town or FairPoint – economical.)
79 Nutting Hill Road – currently has 1.5Mbps but wants more.
610 & 631 Greenville Road – currently have 1.5Mbps but want more.
562 Wilton Road – currently has 1.5Mbps but wants more.
Mark McDonald – currently has 3Mbps but not sufficient for working at home when family also uses. We will contact Mr. McDonald directly to discuss the option of having two separate 3Mbps lines to solve the problem of shared bandwidth.
Richard Stockdale – similar to Brady Schulman he has top DSL speeds but want more. We will contact Mr. Stockdale to also discuss CES service.

Service issues. The following are service issues that we are tracking and will contact the residents directly:

It was reported that there were FairPoint cables on the ground on Old Brookline Road (the class 6 road). We sent our techs and engineers out but could not find facilities on the ground. Please inquire as to who had seen these and with an exact location we would be happy to go back out to investigate.
314 Wilton Road – Colin Robinson – advised that his service only worked 60% of the time. We are investigating
345 Hill (or Meetinghouse?) Road. The resident advised that he pays for 3Mb service but only gets 1.5. We are investigating
Bob Bergeron had praise for FairPoint’s installation techs but had considerable concern for our Customer Service Reps and whether he got the service that was promised. We are investigating.
Alison Siegman feels that she is not getting all of the bandwidth that she should be. We are investigating.

As this is an update on progress since our last meeting, please feel free to copy and distribute this email at your Selectmen’s meeting this evening. I will continue to provide weekly updates to this list.

Also, please encourage anyone with additional concerns to contact me directly.

Thank you,

Ellen G. Scarponi – Director Government Relations & Economic Development NH
FairPoint Communications | 770 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101 |
603-656-8118 office |603-703-7315 cell