The MLS is participating in and supporting the Massachusetts Broadband Project. The Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) is nearing the completion of work to extend affordable high-speed Internet access to homes, businesses, schools, libraries, medical facilities, government offices and other public places across the Commonwealth. The MBI has built the MassBroadband 123 network to expand broadband connectivity to over 120 communities in western and north central Massachusetts. Nearly all of these 120 communities include a Public Library as a Community Anchor Institution (CAI) for the installation of the high speed fiber.
The MBI July/August 2013 newsletter has a “Status Tracker” listing the newest dates for “go-live” by town: Click here
The Following meetings for Community Anchor Institutions (including public libraries) have been scheduled by the MBI for 2013:
The MLS applied for and has received Grant Funds from the MBLC for this Project. The funds include the hiring of a Circuit Rider to facilitate, inventory and provide training to the 100+ Public Libraries participating in the MassBroadband123 project. Tone Nunes, Circuit Rider joined the MLS in January 2012. He has visited dozens of Libraries already; an MBI/Circuit Rider Blog and photos can be found here:
MassBroadband Blog: Adventures of a Circuit Rider
There are many community and state-wide organizations supporting this initiative, as well as a similar broadband project in the former Southeast Region. CapeNet is building the high-speed fiber optic OpenCape Network in southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands.
The MLS has offered many training sessions since the beginning of 2012 in support of High-speed Internet, Digital Literacy and all things web. Visit the MLS web page Workshops to see upcoming training sessions and other updates for the MBI Project in the Commonwealth.
Other trainings and webinars, including free on-line training for Library staff and patrons is offered through the Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF). They offer over 150 classes ranging from MS Office to Reading classes, Job Development and Web Development. Click and Go!
Visit our MLS Broadband guides for more free training, FAQs, schedules, more digital literacy information for your library, and all things wireless: http://guides.masslibsystem.org/index.php
The MBI network vendor, AXIA, is installing a switch that the Libraries will use to connect to other routers (such as CWMARS). The library will need their own router to connect PCs, printers, scanners, wireless access points, and any other networking device.
The MLS will be assisting some Libraries with upgraded wireless access points with the grant funds. If your library is not a member of the CWMARS network, we will be working with you to replace your wireless network to be able to support the faster fiber speeds.