Residents and visitors, municipalities and businesses, educational institutions and cultural organizations, and the health care industry in the Rockingham Planning Commission (RPC) region all consider broadband to be critical infrastructure. Reliable, high speed internet service is an essential tool for accomplishing tasks that make positive contributions to our regional economic health and social welfare. In a short period of time, access to broadband has changed the ways in which we manage both home and work.
In the RPC region, most sectors of the economy perceive broadband service to be adequate. However, lack of competition is seen as preventing consumer choice and creating high costs for service. Lack of information on the location and type of broadband service available is an obstacle to planning for service improvements.
The RPC’s Regional Broadband Plan was developed by RPC staff with guidance from a Broadband Stakeholders Group comprised of representatives from the utility industry, municipal boards, community organizations, and an economic development agency. Their insight and knowledge about the current state of broadband, as well as invaluable knowledge about the history of internet development in the region, enabled the RPC to develop this Plan, establish a regional broadband vision, and create regional recommendations designed to increase the availability, adoption, affordability and performance of broadband.