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Libraries to gain faster Internet access with broadband expansion

Upgrade to cost $4.2 million

MADISON, Wis. - More than half of Wisconsin's public libraries will increase their Internet speed with an upgrade to fiber broadband Internet, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

The upgrade will cost $4.2 million.

"More than 60 percent of our public libraries report inadequate Internet connection speeds to serve library patrons," State Superintendent Tony Evers said.

"Many of our libraries are the only public Internet access in their small, rural communities. Our libraries provide online education resources for students of all ages, including BadgerLink; services for job seekers; and information on government services. So this upgrade of Internet connectivity will be a welcome improvement across the state," Evers said.

Public libraries have been planning for this upgrade since mid-2013. The installation will begin in April and is scheduled to end in November.

Libraries were chosen for the upgrades based on their need. More than 300 libraries will receive the upgrade.

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