Connectivity is critical in the digital age, yet adequate broadband is always in short supply for our members, particularly those in rural or remote locations. Most libraries are faced with both rising costs and rising opportunities as a result of our increasingly-connected society.
We support our members in the following ways:
- Expanding library access to fiber optic networks
Since 2011, eligible public library members may choose to access CANARIES’s Optical Research Advanced Network (Canada’s fastest and only publicly-funded fiber optic network) through an agreement between the Co-op and BCNet, the body which manages this network in BC. As eligible members build access to fiber, they open doors for more communities and entire regions to access this network.
- Providing technological expertise
We share our information technology knowledge with member libraries, and help them develop strategic connectivity plans. For more information, please enquire about our Consulting services.
- Testing technology
We are currently piloting a hosted teleconferencing solution, based on our internal system, for the North East and North Central Library Federations in BC. We work hard to find open tools that work everywhere.
Whenever we can, we advocate for improvements for connectivity for the libraries and communities that need them. We also monitor initiatives such as Connect to Innovate and participate in regional and provincial task forces.
Setting a Benchmark
Library Edge establishes a benchmark that each library Internet user be allocated bandwidth at the rate of 0.5 MBps (megabytes per second) for uploading and 1 MBps for downloading. The Co-op additionally encourages that staff workstations be included in these calculations. When setting up your library’s internet service, aim for these ranges:
- Download capacity = total # of workstations x 1 MBps
- Upload capacity = total # of workstations x 0.5 MBps
These estimates do not account for users who bring their own devices to the library, but does help provide a useful reference point.
The following map identifies communities in British Columbia with low connectivity (less than 5 Mbps available from local ISPs):
Do you want to grow your community’s connectivity? Maybe we can help. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.855.383.5761.