New Hampshire residents enjoyed an average internet service download speed of 7.2 mbps in 2009, up from 4.7 mbps in 2008 and a rise of eight places to 8th. Almost three-quarters of homes had internet access in 2007 and less than 20% had no access of any sort to an internet provider.
An Office of Technology Development and Telecommunication Planning was created in 2008 and the following year saw the post of Director of Broadband Technology, Planning and Development established. The aim is to bring improved broadband internet services to the state, especially to underserved areas where there are few or no internet providers. In August 2009, various projects were put forward for NTIA funding.
One of the first companies to benefit was the Bretton Woods Telephone Company. It received a $985,000 grant to fund the development of a 20 mbps two-way broadband service for around 400 locations, which would help stimulate tourism in the region. Fairpoint Communication also had three applications for grants totaling $10.8 million, which aimed to expand high speed access in the North Country. These were thought to be unaffected by the ISP subsequently filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and acquisition by Verizon.
Verizon itself announced expansion of its 3G network, bringing to $2.5 billion the company's investment in its New England network in nine years. 2009 also saw the launch of a 3G network in New Hampshire by AT&T. Despite this, wifi hotspots are concentrated mainly around the southeast of the state plus some other main population centers.
The city of Nashua has overcome the problem of installing antenna and cables in historic buildings by adopting a 'broadband over power line' solution to provide wireless internet access. Whilst it is accepted that speed is less than that from DSL and fiber optic cable, the 100 mbps maximum is sufficient for the city's needs.
The first US state to have its own constitution, New Hampshire also holds the first primary for presidential elections. Its continental climate gives warm summers and cold, snowy winters. Mount Washington, the highest in the northeastern US, is reputed to have the 'worst weather on earth' with hurricane-force winds occurring every three days on average.
The economy is based on agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, especially for winter sports and observing the fall foliage. Manchester is the largest city followed by Nashua, Concord, the state capital, and Rochester.
Cities in New Hampshire likely to have, or soon to receive, fiber optic cable internet services include Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Derry and Rochester. Locations in NH with highest population counts will be targeted first by providers, though relatively high speeds can be achieved with dial-up or DSL through companies such as Netzero and Charter Communications Cable.