Wisc. libraries to get broadband boost Submitted: 02/10/2014

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter

THREE LAKES - You could soon get to your favorite websites faster in parts of Central and
Northern Wisconsin.

The state will use $4.2 million from the federal government to boost broadband
at libraries in Wisconsin.

That includes the Demmer Memorial Library in Three Lakes. Demmer Memorial
Library Director Janet Dixon says the upgrade will make their internet three
times faster for the same price they pay now.

"Our patrons are doing a lot of research on our computers now and sometimes
they're awfully slow and we would really like to have that consistent speed for
them," Dixon said.

More than 350 libraries across Wisconsin will get the internet speed boost.

Dixon says the fiber broadband will get their connection from 3mbps to 10mbps.
She believes the upgrade will help rural areas avoid falling behind in
technology and opportunity.

"I think the speed is important for them (patrons)," Dixon said. "So we want to
be able to provide that even though we're up here in the Northwoods, we want to
have good internet service."

Workers will start laying the broadband fiber lines in April. That means
libraries could get the broadband boost by November. State Superintendent Tony
Evers is excited for the project.

"More than 60 percent of our public libraries report inadequate Internet
connection speeds to serve library patrons," Evers said in a press release.
"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 project started in 2013 and is a part of improving the state's
BadgerNet broadband connection.

Related Weblinks:
List of Libraries getting fiber broadband upgrade

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