Last week, a group of congressmen posed a challenge to the FCC to bring more fiber-based broadband services to anchor institutions including libraries, schools and hospitals. Now, the Digital Village Associates, a supporter of a national "Fiber to the Library" movement, has gotten the endorsement from The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA), Fiber to the Home Council and Google.
Digital Village has set an ambitious goal for its "Fiber to the Library" initiative: bring 100 Mbps Internet connections to all of the 16,500 U.S. public libraries by 2012. Although libraries do offer some form of broadband Internet service to library patrons, the speeds are often not sufficient to accommodate either fixed workstations or patrons' wireless data devices. This problem will worsen as library patrons start asking for high definition video conferencing applications.
However, getting more bandwidth in many cases has not been easy. While the Obama Administration's Broadband Stimulus package is open to anchor institutions, many did not submit an application because they felt the process was far too complex. Perhaps Digital Village can provide a collective voice for libraries that might want to pursue the second round of funding and participate in the FCC's National Broadband Plan, due to Congress in February.
- see the official release here
House of Reps: We want broadband-enabled schools, hospitals