Montana State Library Initiates ARPA Internal Wiring Program
The State Library has received approximately $640,000 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to upgrade the networking and cabling equipment in a select set of public libraries in Montana. The State Library estimates these APRA dollars will fund internal network upgrades in approximately 25-30 local libraries. Funds will cover expenses for local area networks including internal cabling, equipment and installation. Upgrades to the internal network for libraries will allow these facilities to subscribe for higher broadband speeds for their networks.
Priority will be given to libraries that will commit to increasing their Internet speeds. The state is recommending that libraries meet the minimum national standard of 100 Mbps. Although the funding will not cover the costs for monthly broadband services, the State Library encourages libraries to apply for federal E-Rate dollars which can offset a significant amount of this expense. The State Library is exploring options to help libraries apply for E-Rate to lower broadband rates.
The size of the library, geographic location, Internet usage and revenue are other considerations the State Library will use to evaluate applications. To find out how to apply and for more information visit the web site at: https://mslservices.mt.gov/ASPeN/Services/Service_Detail?Service_ID=111.