Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Update on Badgernet Fiber Grant

In August 2009 the state Department of Administration (DOA) submitted a $27 million federal grant proposing to install fiber at schools and public libraries on the BadgerNet Converged Network (BCN). There are still 76 schools and 385 libraries on old copper circuits, which have limited bandwidth capacity. More information on the grant is at: http://dpi.wi.gov/pld/arrabbfunding.html, August update section. This site also has a grant FAQ and a list of libraries needing fiber.

The grant recently completed the advanced review process and it is now awaiting a decision from the federal grant agency. Only a small percentage of the 2,200 grants submitted nationwide make it this far and a final decision is likely near the end of the month. If the grant is approved:
-- All libraries on BadgerNet will get a 20Mbps circuit for $100/month without need to justify this bandwidth. (90% of libraries now have 3Mbps or less and must justify any bandwidth increase.)
-- All systems will get a 100Mbps circuit at $250/month, no justification needed.
-- All libraries and systems must commit to remain on BadgerNet for 5 years unless they get a better offer (e.g., more bandwidth at less cost) from a competing telecommunications provider.

If the grant is funded the Department of Public Instruction assumes that all or nearly all libraries will want to take advantage of this opportunity. If you have any questions, see the above website or contact Bob Bocher, library division Technology Consultant (608-266-2127, robert.bocher@dpi.wi.gov), or contact your system technology staff. - Channel Weekly, Vol. 12, No. 19 -- February 11, 2010

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