Library completes Internet Infrastructure Project

November 5, 2020 in

Highspeed broadband now available at all four library branches

Josephine Community Library and Sunny Wolf Charter School partnered to complete the Internet Infrastructure Project, running fiber broadband lines to the library branches in Wolf Creek and the Illinois Valley. The project broke ground in June 2019 and was recently completed in October 2020.

According to BroadbandNow, roughly 23 percent of the population in Josephine county does not have reliable residential access to Internet. Many residents of the Wolf Creek and Illinois Valley communities rely heavily on the library for Internet access.

“This fiber-optic Internet connection provides our community and school what, 100+ years ago, the railroad provided; increased productivity, increased opportunity, new ideas, and a new way of life,” shared teacher and E-rate/Technology Coordinator for Sunny Wolf Charter School Shawn Hardy.

Beginning in June 2019, Hunter Communications began the work of the Internet Infrastructure Project by laying several miles of fiber-optic lines to bring highspeed broadband Internet access to library patrons at the rural branches in the Wolf Creek and the Illinois Valley, as well as to the Sunny Wolf Charter School. Reliable, highspeed Internet is now available at all four library branches.

“Thanks to our partnership on this project, the fiber-optic network has finally connected the northernmost community in Josephine County with the same high-speed connection that much of the rest of the county enjoys,” said Hardy.

The $320,000 project was made possible through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “E-rate” program which seeks to ensure that libraries and schools can obtain high-speed Internet access at affordable rates. Through the FCC E-rate program, the library district and Sunny Wolf Charter School were eligible for a 90 percent discount on Internet access services. The library’s portion of the project was funded through Josephine County Economic Development Funds and the Carpenter Foundation.