Aug 7, 2020

Consolidated Communications Partnering with New Hampshire Towns and the State to Fund $18 Million Broadband Expansion

Company investments will deliver new and faster broadband services with support from the state’s CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund and local towns

MANCHESTER, N.H., Aug. 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ: CNSL) a leading broadband and business communications provider, today announced plans to  partner with the state of New Hampshire and local towns to invest nearly $18 million to expand and enhance broadband services across the state.

Consolidated was awarded $3.5 million in grants from the state’s Connecting New Hampshire - Emergency Broadband Expansion Program to build high-speed, fiber-to-the-premises Internet networks to homes and businesses in Danbury, Springfield, and Mason. The Company also received a separate grant to upgrade existing Internet services in the town of Errol. These grants will provide new and enhanced Internet services to more than 2,500 residents and businesses in New Hampshire. Consolidated will invest nearly $1.5 million to support these projects. 

In June, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu authorized the allocation and expenditure of $50 million from the state’s CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund for the creation of the Connecting New Hampshire - Emergency Broadband Expansion Program. Grants awarded through the program support the increased need for Internet connectivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the emphasis on distance learning, telework, telehealth and other remote services.  

“The current pandemic brought the importance of Internet connectivity to light, but that is not the whole story,” said Tamara Butcher, chair of the Springfield Select Board. “Internet connectivity is a fundamental utility that rural communities need to thrive.”

In its quest to bring better broadband Internet services to unserved and underserved rural communities across New Hampshire and Northern New England, Consolidated Communications has invested more than $112 million in the past two years, upgraded more than 550,000 passings and forged innovative public-private partnerships.

“Now more than ever, we know how important reliable, high-speed Internet is for residents and business owners,” said Rob Koester, senior vice president of consumer product at Consolidated. “We’re ready and eager to work with representatives from our partner towns in New Hampshire to boost economic development, e-commerce and quality-of-life benefits for residents and ensure they stay connected.”

The company built a new, high-speed, fiber-to-the-premises Internet network directly to all homes and businesses in Chesterfield, N.H. with no associated property tax increase. This project was the first of its kind in the state and served as a model for other communities, including the towns of Walpole, Dublin, Westmoreland, Rindge and Harrisville, which recently entered into public-private partnership agreements with the Company. These new projects, totaling nearly $13 million and including a $4 million company investment, will bring high-speed, fiber-to-the-premises Internet networks directly to all homes and businesses in the aforementioned towns.

Customers can read more about the company’s investments and advancements in Northern New England by visiting www.consolidated.com/progress.

About Consolidated Communications
Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSL) is a leading broadband and business communications provider serving consumers, businesses, and wireless and wireline carriers across rural and metro communities and a 23-state service area. Leveraging an advanced fiber network spanning 45,850 fiber route miles, Consolidated Communications is a top-10 fiber provider in the U.S. offering a wide range of communications solutions, including: high-speed Internet, data, phone, security, managed services, cloud services and wholesale, carrier solutions. From our first connection 125 years ago, Consolidated is dedicated to turning technology into solutions, connecting people and enriching how they work and live. Visit www.consolidated.com for more information.

Contact
Shannon Sullivan, Consolidated Communications
603-656-1521, shannon.sullivan@consolidated.com

Jennifer Spaude, Consolidated Communications
507-386-3765, jennifer.spaude@consolidated.com