Kansas’ public libraries (and schools) signed up in record numbers in 2009 for Kan-ed’s free T-1 connections. Over 184 libraries have completed the service initiation paperwork, and are eagerly awaiting their new connections.
Seen as a direct result of the State Library’s Broadband Summit in 2007 – “A Whole New Mind” – the Kan-ed 2.0 Network offers high-speed connections, assistance with e-rate, and quality and levels of service not available to many libraries previously.
The pilot project planned with the Gates Foundation (Opportunity Online Program) has been modified. Rather than a statewide summit, Kansas will host one-day regional mini-conferences targeted at libraries and communities. These gatherings focus on goal planning and strategies to increase and sustain broadband connections, and on creating local partnerships.
The State Library is closely monitoring developments at the federal level related to the broadband stimulus funding. We regularly participate with other states for updates from ALA WO (ALA Washington Office) and OITP. We’ll keep libraries and systems informed of opportunities related to broadband connectivity during the next several months.