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Posts Tagged ‘University of New Hampshire’

UNH to Open Advanced Manufacturing Center Thanks to NH Company

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

(Thanks to our partners at the University of New Hampshire for sharing this great news! – Ed.)

The state’s manufacturing industry will get a boost in highly-skilled workers with hands-on experience when the University of New Hampshire opens the John Olson Advanced Manufacturing Center this fall. The center is made possible through the generosity of Charlestown-based Whelen Engineering, which is honoring retiring president John Olson with a $5.3 million gift to the university.

Manufacturing is the largest economic sector in New Hampshire and to help keep it that way, the Olson Center will focus on three areas: High-precision machining, light materials and flexible electronics. The center will help bridge the skills gap in the nation’s $1.7 trillion manufacturing industry and serve as a home for academically derived technology incubators, next-generation manufacturing technologies and a cross-curricular approach to engineering and manufacturing concepts.

Olson graduated from UNH with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1957. Two years later, he began his career at Whelen, which also has a facility in Chester, Conn. He has been Whelen’s president since 1976 and oversaw the opening of the Charlestown facility in 1984. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

“Much of our growth and success has been due to the passion for excellence in engineering that John Olson has fostered within the company,” said George W. Whelen IV, owner of Whelen Engineering, Inc. “John made sure we always looked for a better way and used cutting-edge technology whenever we could. Since he opened the Whelen facility in Charlestown, he has made many connections with the engineering programs at his alma mater. Finding qualified and motivated employees is very important for any business but particularly for an engineering company.”

The center, planned for the former Goss International building on the west edge of campus, will introduce students to innovative manufacturing technologies and allow visualization of manufacturing concepts to complement the skills learned in traditional classroom settings. It will serve as a pipeline for trained, skilled workers who will be able to successfully step into the state’s manufacturing sector with practical knowledge and experience.

Whelen Engineering designs and manufactures high-quality audio and visual warning equipment for the automotive, aviation and mass notification industries around the world. Between its two plants, the company employs more than 1,500 people and is the only maker of emergency warning and lighting equipment to manufacture its products in the U.S.

For the university, the new center will be a boon to its engineering and science programs, as well as other departments.

“We are absolutely delighted with the opportunity that George Whelen IV and Whelen Engineering are affording our students, faculty and the state,” said Sam Mukasa, dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. “Manufacturers and various other engineering firms around the state speak of our engineering graduates as smart and well trained, and the Olson Center will give students the very important third piece of their education: practical experience. The center will also foster development of some research projects between faculty and colleagues in the private sector, thereby having an enormous positive impact on the state’s economy.”

One of the largest gifts in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences’ history, this latest donation builds on the history of philanthropy that Whelen Engineering and John Olson have built at UNH. More than $2.5 million has been donated for scholarships and to support UNH’s Tech Camp for students in grades 6 through 12. In 2007, Whelen Engineering donated an outdoor mass-notification system to the Durham campus to be used during emergencies. Whelen’s mass notification systems became required at all nuclear power plants in the wake of the Three-Mile Island disaster, and the country of Denmark purchased the system, installing it at more than 1,200 sites around the country.

For Olson, having his career recognized in this way by the Whelen family is an honor.

“It pleases me to see that UNH students are now going to have a manufacturing facility where they can tinker and innovate the manufacturing of tomorrow,” he said. “I have stated many times that manufacturing was central to our ability to win two world wars. We now have tremendous competition from overseas in manufacturing, and owe it to the next generation to prepare them well to hold their own and keep this country strong. Staying ahead of the competition in innovation and efficiency will be key. I think that UNH students can do that.”

TedxAmoskeagMillyard Slated for 10/15

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Organizers of TEDxAmoskeagMillyard are thrilled to announce Saturday, October 15, as the date of the inaugural TEDx event in southern New Hampshire. 

Organized along the theme of “The Unexpected,” TEDxAmoskeagMillyard will feature exciting multidisciplinary talks by global thought leaders: Howard Brodsky, Co-founder and CEO of CCA Global Partners; Ryan FitzSimons, Founder and CEO of Gigunda Group, Gary Hirshberg, President and CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farm; Jeremy Hitchcock, CEO of Dyn; Dean Kamen, Founder of DEKA and FIRST; Catherine Rielly, Project Humanist and Board President of Rubia and Michael Swack, Social Innovation Pioneer and Professor at the University of New Hampshire.

TedxAmoskeagMillyard Lead Organizer Kathleen Schmidt

TEDxAmoskeagMillyard, an independently organized event operated under license from TED, will be hosted by the University of New Hampshire at Manchester, 400 Commercial Street. TEDxAmoskeagMillyard is a private event limited to 100 guests, but will be Webcast live on Saturday, October 15, starting at 11:00 a.m. EST on http://www.livestream.com/tedx. Viewing parties for TEDxAmoskeagMillyard will be hosted throughout the state of New Hampshire.

“TEDxAmoskeagMillyard is a catalyst for citizen creatives, students, entrepreneurs, artists, change agents and innovators to connect, share ideas, collaborate, be inspired and create positive impact,” notes Lead Organizer, Kathleen Schmidt.

For more information, please visit, www.tedxamoskeagmillyard.com. On Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDxAmoskeagMil and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TEDxAmoskeagMillyard.

Certificate in Corporate Sustainability Announce Keynote, Agenda & Instructors

Monday, August 1st, 2011

The professional Certificate in Corporate Sustainability, launched this year by the University of New Hampshire and New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR), has announced its agenda and instructor list for the program’s three-day Institute, which will occur October 4-6, 2011 at the UNH Campus in Durham. The certificate program is directed toward mid-level and senior professionals seeking to increase knowledge and functional skills in the practices and principles of corporate sustainability. Information may also be found at the program’s newly launched web site www.sustainabilitycertificate.org.

The Institute focuses on tools, techniques and solutions for implementing environmentally and socially responsible business practices.

Mark Newton, Timberland’s Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), will deliver the opening keynote address on October 4, 2011. Newton leads Timberland’s global team responsible for managing the organization’s four areas of focus within CSR: environmental stewardship, global human rights, community engagement and transparency and reporting. Mark joins Timberland following eight years with Dell, Inc., most recently serving as Executive Director of Global Sustainability, as well as tenures at Apple, Motorola and DEKA Research and Development Corp.

A sampling of workshop topics:
• Defining Corporate Sustainability – what are the roots and key drivers? What challenges do today’s businesses face? What competencies are required of a sustainability leader?
• Developing a Corporate Sustainability Strategy – how to conduct materiality assessments and identify stakeholders; identify the best tools/metrics to measure within your organization
• Integrating HR into your Sustainability Strategy – how to create a sustainable culture and how to create sustainability accountability and support into the HR infrastructure
• Role of Environment in Decision-Making – how to conduct a life cycle analysis; intro into greenhouse gas, water and waste tracking methodologies and tools; and environmental inventorying
• Anticipating a Changing Landscape – how changing demographics and resource needs impact how to identify opportunities and anticipate challenges
• Community Investment Strategies – what are the expectations of communities for companies and how to identify the right opportunities
• CSR Reporting – building a CSR report and appropriate ways to articulate results
• Communicating Your Company’s Efforts – how to articulate your company’s successes, challenges and plans in the right way to the right audiences

Other elements will include offsite events such as an eco-gastronomy discussion at the Black Trumpet Bistro and a behind the scenes tour/discussion on supply chain and sourcing at Smuttynose Brewery.

The Certificate in Corporate Sustainability’s three day Institute is led by UNH faculty, regional business leaders and a supportive cohort of peers. A sampling of identified instructors:
• Jeff Allar, Vice President of Human Resources – Stonyfield Farms
• Betsy Blaisdell, Manager of Environmental Stewardship – Timberland
• Howard Brodsky, founder, CEO and Chairman of CCA Global Partners
• John Carroll, Professor of Natural Resources – University of New Hampshire
• Peter Egelston, Chief Executive Officer – Smuttynose Brewery
• Kevin Gardner, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering – University of New Hampshire
• Dr. Ross Gittell, Professor of Management – University of New Hampshire
• Tom Kelly, Chief Sustainability Officer – University of New Hampshire
• Brendan LeBlanc, Principal – LeBlanc Associates
• Pat McDermott, Manager of Economic Development – Public Service of New Hampshire
• Beth Tener, Principal – New Directions Collaborative
• Cameron Wake, Associate Professor @ Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space – University of New Hampshire
• Dan Winans,  Director of ecoGastronomy – University of New Hampshire

After completion of the Institute, students will conduct an independent, mentor-supported workplace project. The program offers continuing education credit for professionals.

Participants may register at www.sustainabilitycertificate.org – space is limited. NHBSR members receive a 15% discount.

UNH, NHBSR Launch Certificate in Corporate Sustainability

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

The professional Certificate in Corporate Sustainability was announced today by the University of New Hampshire and New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR). The certificate program is directed toward mid-level and senior professionals seeking to increase knowledge and functional skills in the practices and principles of corporate sustainability.

UNH’s Whittemore School of Business & Economics and Sustainability Academy partner with NH Businesses for Social Responsibility to launch a new professional Certificate in Corporate Sustainability.

The Institute focuses on tools, techniques and solutions for implementing environmentally and socially responsible business practices. Topics taught will cover people, profit and planet — from triple bottom line financing and understanding how environmental trends affect the business world to employee and stakeholder engagement.

“The professional Certificate in Corporate Sustainability fills a gap that our members say has been missing for years,” says Kate Luczko, interim executive director of NHBSR. “And it reflects the fact that sustainability in business isn’t a trendy concept but an integral part of how companies do business today.”

The Certificate in Corporate Sustainability program launches with a three day Institute, which will be held October 4-6, 2011 at UNH’s Durham campus and led by UNH faculty, regional business leaders and a supportive cohort of peers. After completion of the Institute, students will conduct an independent, mentor-supported workplace project. The program offers continuing education credit for professionals.

Participants may register at www.nhbsr.org/certificate – space is limited. NHBSR members receive a 15% discount.

The Certificate in Corporate Sustainability is presented by Timberland, a business pioneer in sustainability.

“The Certificate will equip a new crop of business leaders with the tools they need to implement meaningful change in their organizations,” states Mark Newton, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Timberland. “The program not only provides these participants with CSR training and tools, but also supports them in translating their learning into action – a critical component to ensuring the success of the program and its goals.”

“We are excited to partner with NHBSR in providing businesses with the latest sustainability knowledge and tools,” says WSBE dean Dan Innis. “Both UNH and NHBSR are driving the growing green economy in New Hampshire. Green business makes sense both environmentally and economically, and it is important that business leaders understand how to apply sustainability concepts to their products and services.”

Network New Hampshire Now to Break Ground on Statewide High-Speed Broadband Network

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Network New Hampshire Now (NNHN) has begun the first phase in bringing affordable broadband access to the state’s under-served citizens, schools and businesses by awarding a NH-based company a contract to construct a middle-mile fiber-optic network.

high-speed-broadbandNashua-based New Hampshire Optical Systems (NHOS) will soon begin construction of a 500+ mile high-speed network stretching from the seacoast to the southwest region, up to the northwest, the North Country, and through the lakes region. The $34 million project, one of the largest fiber networks in the country, is expected to bring many new construction and technology jobs to the state. When complete, the middle mile network aims to improve economic development in NH communities with little to no access to affordable broadband today.  

The middle mile network is the first and largest part of a three-phase initiative resulting from New Hampshire’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) federal grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which NNHN spearheaded. NNHN is a collaboration of NH-based public and private partners focused on building and interconnecting high-speed broadband networks in all 10 state counties. Additional projects include an enhanced wireless public safety network and public television network, connectivity for an intelligent transportation system, and last mile “fiber to the home” in two pilot communities. As the core component supporting many of these projects, the middle mile network is the recipient of the largest portion of the BTOP grant.

New Hampshire Optical Systems was chosen from among five finalists following an intensive, five-month open bid and evaluation process.

“It was a highly competitive process with tough federal grant requirements. NHOS met or exceeded all of the NTIA requirements soundly, while also submitting the lowest cost bid,” said Scott Valcourt, who leads New Hampshire’s BTOP grant for NNHN. “We believe NHOS will be a strong partner who will complete the project on time and on budget.”

NHOS is a for-profit fiber communications firm who is teaming with Waveguide, a Chelmsford, MA company with expertise in engineering, management, construction and maintenance of fiber optic networks. The companies’ executive teams have a strong track record of assembling fiber networks across N.H. and the northeastern U.S., including many of the Fortune 500 network providers, wireless carriers, and municipalities.  NHOS is investing $10 million of its own capital into the project, bringing the total investment in the middle mile initiative to $34 million. Along with this financial investment, the company plans to invest in NH workforce development with the establishment of an apprenticeship program in support of the project to help students in the state gain career training, experience, and jobs in advanced networking technologies.

“We are proud to be part of the effort to expand broadband throughout the state and the country,” said Dave Reusch, general manager of New Hampshire Optical Systems. “We believe our team is uniquely qualified to develop and manage the middle mile network.”

The “middle mile” forms the communications backbone linking a network operator’s core network to local systems and their user base – the same way Interstate 93 provides the corridor for traffic to and from other roads and their surrounding communities. The network will be open to any organization wanting to provide Internet services to end-users, including homes, schools, healthcare facilities, businesses and other enterprises. NHOS will build, own, and manage the middle mile fiber network, and will sell wholesale fiber connectivity along the route, as mandated by the BTOP grant requirements.

The NNHN project aims to dramatically increase broadband access throughout the state by creating an open access network, which will increase choice and competition among network providers, making it economically feasible for them deliver service to end-user communities across the state. It will also try to capitalize on as much existing, available fiber network assets in the state as possible.

NNHN has received $44.5 million in economic stimulus money from the NTIA to fund critically needed broadband expansion across the state. Led by the University of New Hampshire, Network New Hampshire Now was brought together by the NH Division of Economic Development. It was guided by the Governor’s Telecommunications Advisory Board (TAB), and the 2008 New Hampshire Broadband Action Plan. The grant will be matched with nearly $22 million in private cash and in-kind funding.

SBDC Launches New Online Finance Site for Entrepreneurs

Friday, June 25th, 2010

The New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, an outreach program of the University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics, has launched a new online course for entrepreneurs seeking guidance on how to finance a New Hampshire business. The course is the latest addition to the center’s broad offering of free online resources available to entrepreneurs.

sbdcDeveloped by the NH SBDC as the primary resource on financing a business in the state, the 90-minute course, “Financing a Business in NH,” contains a myriad of financing resources and tools for New Hampshire business owners and helps entrepreneurs navigate the maze of funding options available in the state.  

“The Small Business Development Center does an excellent job in assisting our small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy. This new online course is another way the Center is working to provide the assistance businesses and entrepreneurs need to be successful here in New Hampshire,” Gov. John Lynch said. 

The NH SBDC announced the launch of the course earlier this week at a meeting of the governor and Executive Council at the New Hampshire State House. The course is sponsored by the Community Bankers Association of New Hampshire, Inc., and is part of the center’s e-Learning program, which is sponsored by Public Service of New Hampshire. 

“The growth and development of successful small businesses in NH will have a significant impact on job creation and the health of our economy,” states Peter Winship, Executive Director, Community Bankers Association of NH. “Through support of this new SBDC e-course New Hampshire’s community banks can actively provide direct financial resources and information 24/7 to New Hampshire’s business community.”   

 “’Financing a Business in NH’” is the most recent addition to the SBDC’s robust e-Learning program,” states SBDC director Mary Collins, “and we are thrilled to have the support and backing of our longtime partners,  the Community Bankers Association of NH.”  Launched in 2008, the e-Learning program provides entrepreneurs more than 23 courses in several areas of business, including management, finance and marketing, at no cost. New and experienced business owners may take a course in one sitting, or over time, depending on their schedules.  According to Collins, “More than 2,000 online courses have been completed by business owners and entrepreneurs in 203 NH communities since the program started.” To view “Financing a Business in NH,” visit the center’s e-Learning portal at http://www.nhsbdc.org/e-Learning-entrepreneurs.
The NH Small Business Development Center provides confidential business management consulting and educational programs to New Hampshire’s small businesses. The NH SBDC is the only NH agency that has full-time certified business advisors providing one-on-one, long-term, management consulting to small businesses. NH SBDC is a cooperative venture with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of New Hampshire (DRED), the University System of New Hampshire, and the private sector. For more info on NH SBDC, visit www.nhsbdc.org.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state’s flagship public institution, enrolling more than 12,200 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.

Statewide Collaborative Seeks Broadband Expansion

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Network New Hampshire Now (NNHN), a collaboration of public and private partners from across the state, submitted a $66 million proposal to the National Telecommunications & Information Administration’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (NTIA BTOP) to fund critically needed broadband expansion in New Hampshire. The proposal, submitted on behalf of NNHN by the University of New Hampshire March 26, calls for building a middle-mile fiber optic network that will connect homes, businesses and community organizations to help advance economic development, education, health care and public safety across the state. NTIA will decide by late summer whether to accept the proposal.

broadband1“The middle-mile fiber network is seen as a major opportunity for economic development. In particular, the network designed for New Hampshire has openness as its core purpose – it will enable affordable choices for all providers to reach areas of the state that have been difficult to service,” said George Bald, commissioner of the state Department of Resources & Economic Development (DRED), one of the collaborating partners involved in the grant application. “The Network New Hampshire Now proposal puts the state on par with international fiber optic broadband capacity and capability.”

The NNHN project will expand broadband in all 10 counties in New Hampshire in three ways. First, existing middle-mile fiber from the Seacoast, across to the southwest, up to the northwest, on to the North Country, and through the Lakes Region will be expanded and new fiber will be put in place. Second, an innovative model called FastRoads will be implemented to provide fiber optic connectivity in communities, starting with Rindge, in the southwest near the Massachusetts border and Enfield in western New Hampshire. Finally, the project includes the construction of a middle-mile microwave network for public safety, public television and mobile broadband communications on mountaintops across New Hampshire.

In addition to UNH and DRED, NNHN partners include the Community Development Finance Authority, all University System of New Hampshire institutions, the Community College System of New Hampshire, the Keene Municipal Broadband Committee, Southwest Regional Planning Commission, North Country Investment Corporation, town managers in Hanover and Keene, state legislators, and telecommunications vendors.

“UNH is proud to submit this proposal on behalf of the citizens of New Hampshire,” said Joanna Young, chief information officer at UNH. “A key strength of this proposal is the public and private partnership it represents, as well as its scope and reach.”

The NNHN initiative is endorsed and supported by numerous entities that understand its potential to expand broadband in the state and provide high speed access to areas where such access will have an instant impact on economic development efforts. Numerous letters of support have been received from hospitals, libraries, business associations, state legislators, and university presidents.

“The growth engine of education, health services, and economic development requires this technology to help New Hampshire be competitive today and in the future,” said Scott Valcourt, the principal investigator at UNH for the grant proposal. “With NTIA funding, the dream of an open access, high speed broadband network will be realized.”

Wild for Innovation Info Now Available

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Fridays can get pretty wild in the Granite State and last Friday, a group of approximately 50 business leaders got wild at the University of New Hampshire…..wild for innovation that is.

UNH Facilities Design and Construction Executive Director Larry Van Dessel (r.) leads a tour of James Hall as NH Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy (l.) looks on.

UNH Facilities Design and Construction Executive Director Larry Van Dessel (r.) leads a tour of James Hall as NH Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy (l.) looks on.

Sponsored by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and Public Service of New Hampshire in partnership with the University of New Hampshire, Wild for Innovation was a perfect opportunity for local businesses to learn more about the exciting efforts underway at UNH to support creativity and economic development.  At the event, we heard about the changing demographics of the state from Carsey Institute Senior Demographer Ken Johnson, gained insight into the Green Launching Pad which is dedicated to successfully launching green businesses and learned about EcoLine, a landfill gas-to-energy project that uses purified methane gas from a nearby landfill to power the campus.

We also were very fortunate to gain leadership skills from Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Management Vanessa Druskat, Ph.D. and to receive some excellent teamwork tips from UNH Women’s Lacrosse Coach Michael Daly and Women’s Swimming & Diving Coach Jarrod Zwirko. 

To cap off the evening, we even watched the UNH Wildcats men’s hockey team clinch first place in Hockey East by storming back from three goals down in the third period to tie the BC Eagles.

Special thanks to UNH Sports Properties’ Jenna Kubesch for helping to organize the day’s events and to the entire UNH campus for being so welcoming and hospitable!

To view the presentations from the event, please visit: http://www.nheconomy.com/WildforInnovation.aspx.

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

It Makes Perfect Business Sense to “Get Wild”

Friday, February 26th, 2010

How many times in a business situation do you think that it pays to “get wild?”

Well, I’m here to tell you that next Friday, the entire state of New Hampshire will go “Wild for Innovation” as we partner with Public Service of New Hampshire and the University of New Hampshire to host a daylong celebration of some of the finest innovative initiatives in the nation.

Our good friend Allen Voivod of Epiphanies, Inc. just wrote a great blog about our upcoming event – here’s what he had to say:

Networking, Innovating and Getting Wild About Business

Here’s one thing that 2009 taught us – everything you think you know about business can change very rapidly, and cause even the most stable of companies to get nervous, get shaky, and in some unfortunate circumstances, go under.

innovations22Here’s something else we know – out of recessions come some of the most powerful, profitable, game-changing companies. General Electric, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, CNN, Federal Express, Burger King, and dozens of other giants started out in what some would consider the worst of economic circumstances.

One of the keys to their survival through thick and thin is their ability to innovate – to constantly search for ways to improve the way they do business, internally and externally. This is the overriding theme behind “Wild for Innovation,” billed as “a unique opportunity for New Hampshire businesspeople to converge with some of the brightest at UNH for a day of learning, sharing, celebration.”

It’s happening Friday, March 5th, at UNH in Durham, starting at 12pm and continuing through 5:45pm, after which there’s going to be a tailgate-style networking dinner. (You can stay and watch UNH’s hockey team take on Boston College at 7:30pm and make a night of it, too.)

I’ll be honest: I wasn’t planning on going originally, even though one of our clients is involved in putting on this event. But I’ve since changed my mind, and the reason why is because of what I learned from studying up on trade shows a couple of years ago:

If you want to stand out in your field, look at what’s happening in different industries to get fresh ideas, find out what’s working (and what isn’t), and bring some of that into your own presence as appropriate.

Same thing goes for innovation – if you want to get in the innovation mindset, surround yourself with open-minded business professionals who are thinking in that direction. Surround yourself with people who are actually innovating for a living. Get fresh input from different fields that you can take back and put to work in your own business.

You’re going to get that (and a lot more) from Wild for Innovation Day. It’s an event unlike others I’ve seen put on here in NH in the past, tickets are limited for it, and half are gone already, so don’t wait until the last minute – jump on it today.

To learn more, visit: http://wildforinnovation.eventbrite.com/.

UNH Awarded $1.7M For Broadband Internet Mapping Project

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

The U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded the University of New Hampshire’s Geographically Referenced Analysis and Information Transfer (NH GRANIT) project approximately $1.7 million to manage a program that will inventory and map current and planned broadband coverage available to the state’s businesses, educators, and citizens. 

unhThe New Hampshire Broadband Mapping Program (NHBMP) is a coordinated, multi-agency initiative funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and is part of a national effort to expand high-speed Internet access and adoption through improved data collection and broadband planning.

GRANIT, which is housed at the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS), serves as the statewide geographic information system (GIS) clearinghouse.

“The results of the mapping activity will be an important determinant in future broadband access across the state, which is important for all citizens in terms of economic development, education, health care, public health and safety, and quality of life issues,” says GRANIT director Fay Rubin of the Complex Systems Research Center at EOS.

The state’s nine regional planning commissions will collaborate with GRANIT on data collection and verification activities, as well as conduct regional broadband planning activities. Additional support will be provided by a variety of state agencies, including the Division of Economic Development, the Office of Energy and Planning, and the Public Utilities Commission.

Carol Miller

Carol Miller

“We are pleased to set this project in motion. It’s a great example of how collaboration between public and private agencies works for the betterment of all,” says Carol Miller, director of broadband technology at the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development. She adds, “In addition, we will be providing information that will help to develop and track the national broadband plan.”

The Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC) based in Keene is taking the lead role among the regional planning commissions for the project. “This initiative comes at a time of challenge and represents a significant opportunity to address the infrastructure needs of our communities and our state so vital in maintaining a vibrant economy,” says Tim Murphy, executive director of SWRPC.

The project is comprised of two components: a two-year broadband availability inventory and mapping effort, and a four-year planning initiative.

The inventory will use service-area data collected from the 60-plus public and commercial entities, both landline and wireless, that provide broadband services in the state. These data, describing service availability, type, and technology, will help to identify areas of the state that are unserved or underserved by the current broadband infrastructure. Data will also be collected on broadband availability at individual community anchor institutions, including schools, libraries, medical/healthcare locations, public safety offices, and state, county, and municipal buildings. 

The planning component of the NHBMP will incorporate the information collected and the momentum generated by the mapping activities into regional broadband plans throughout New Hampshire. It will involve establishing regional broadband stakeholder groups to identify barriers to broadband deployment, promote collaboration with service providers, facilitate information sharing regarding the use of and demand for broadband services, and develop broadband plans for each region of the state. 

NTIA has now awarded 41 grants to states and U.S. territories totaling approximately $78 million under the program. In addition to NH, the most recent round of awards went to Iowa, Montana, Utah, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The agency expects to finish announcing awards under the program in early 2010. 

The data collected and compiled under the national program will be used to develop publicly available state-wide broadband maps and to inform the comprehensive, interactive, and searchable national broadband map that NTIA is required by the Recovery Act to create and make publicly available by February 17, 2011.

According to Rubin, the NHBMP is scheduled to deliver a preliminary assessment of areas of the state that are unserved or underserved by broadband to NTIA by this spring.

“We will be contacting agencies, organizations, businesses, and residents in the state and we hope that there will be a high degree of interest in and support for this effort. Collecting accurate and comprehensive data will be critical for the project’s success,” Rubin says.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state’s flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.