The project is utilizing a $4.2 million E-rate investment.
“More than 60 percent of our public libraries report inadequate Internet connection speeds to serve library patrons,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “Many of our libraries are the only public Internet access in their small, rural communities. Our libraries provide online education resources for students of all ages, including BadgerLink; services for job seekers; and information on government services; so this upgrade of Internet connectivity will be a welcome improvement across the state.”
Planning for the library fiber upgrade has been underway since mid-2013 and is part of enhancing the state’s BadgerNet broadband network. The actual fiber installation will begin this April and should be completed for approximately 350 libraries by November. Libraries were selected for fiber upgrades based on need. Nearly all public libraries will receive an increase in capacity, often tripled, as part of the program upgrade.
Telecommunication carriers provide the BadgerNet connections. The network is under the general management of the Department of Administration (DOA). Approximately 75 percent of the state’s school districts and 95 percent of its libraries have a connection to BadgerNet. As a result of the fiber project, libraries will get a 10Mbps BadgerNet connection for $100 per month and up to 100Mbps for $250 per month.
Currently, only 8.5 percent of the state’s libraries have Internet connection speeds above 10Mbps. All of the state’s 17 regional library systems also will receive significant broadband increases.
Discovered via Madison.com
Hat Tip & Thanks: Matt R. Weaver