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 have had 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. However in 2019 BCNet changed its agreement to require any library wanting access to the network to become and independent BCNet member directly..
- 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
In 2018 the Library Connectivity working group published a study of public library connectivity in BC. In this report, the working group also put forward a recommendation that all libraries should strive to provide baseline spped of 5Mbps down and 1 Mbps upload for any networked connected device in a branch.
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.