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Upgrades will improve library internet

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Faster internet speeds are coming to the Chilton/Clanton Public Library through the Alabama Supercomputer Authority.

Library Director Bernadette Roche said the new equipment being installed will give the library connect speeds up to 100 mbps.

“We are seeing a lot of good things in the library,” Roche said in a presentation to the Clanton City Council on Feb. 10. “We finished 2019 with record numbers, and we are very excited about this. Our usage was up. Our services were up, especially our computer usage and our internet usage.”

The upgrades to the internet access will be paid for with funding from the state.

“We are very excited about it,” Roche said.

Installation of the needed wiring, connections and other equipment has begun. However, an exact date of when the faster internet will be accessible to library patrons remains unknown.

“We anticipate that the service should be available very soon,” Roche said.

She said she hopes to see it “available in the next month or two.”

“We will be going from 8 mbps to 100 mbps,” Roche said. “All at no cost to the city or the county or any of our government partners … This will be a great benefit to the community because there are so many of your internet applications and things that people need to do on the internet that they really need that higher capacity, which is what we are going to be getting.”

According to the Alabama Supercomputer Authority website, it is a “state-funded corporation founded in 1989 for the purpose of planning, acquiring, developing, administering and operating a statewide supercomputer and related telecommunication systems.” The services later expanded to include “the Alabama Research and Education Network (AREN), which offers education and research clients in Alabama internet access and other related network services.”

Also during her presentation, Roche mentioned that the Friends of the Library group is working on receiving approval as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Roche said this approval would open up additional grant opportunities to the library.