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The ability for libraries to provide access to the coming wave of online innovations and the learning experiences and services they will enable will be largely determined by the speed and quality of a library’s connection to the Internet.
Each library will need to grapple with the question of how best to seamlessly and affordably scale bandwidth levels to keep ahead of user demand in order to thrive in and expand our role as essential places of learning to the communities we serve.
There exists a national fabric of not for profit state and regional R&E networks that are all connected together by Internet2, which is our country’s advanced research and education backbone network.
Many of these state/regional R&E networks trace their roots to the mid-80s with Internet2 being created in 1996.
They were conceived, engineered, and built from the ground up to meet the high performance internet connectivity needs of educational institutions starting with big 4 year research universities all around the country and expanding today to include connecting the broader education community ranging k-12 schools to libraries and museums.
I urge you to think of the R&E networking community as major allies of libraries - they exist to help libraries solve the bandwidth puzzle so we can continue to expand our special and essential role as places where everyone can access an infinite variety of new experiences and expertise and the learning opportunities and services this brave new world is enabling.