The Durant Library recently upgraded internet service that was approved by the Durant City Council this past week.
Pricing, as with any electronic communication service, is variable, according to authorities. As services get better, they can easily get less expensive, they said.
Durant City Manager Tim Rundel said, “There has been some recent discussion about why it costs so much more for the library to provide hi-speed Internet than a typical home with a basic modem router service. I wanted to provide some quick facts about the hi-speed Internet at the Library.”
He said it’s not a cost the City of Durant pays for. He said, “it is supported 80 to 85% by the Federal Universal Service Fund and the other 15 to 20% by the Oklahoma Universal Service Fund. So this is a service that we are 100% funded by State and Federal funds.”
Library Internet services are utilized for 13 computer teaching lab, 17 computer public lab, and wireless access throughout the building and outside common areas.
Veterans services use the computer lab to help on average 15 veterans per day Monday through Thursday.
Durant’s local Veteran’s Administration representative has estimated that “by utilizing the Durant Library and the Internet Services, it has assisted Vets in receiving several millions of dollars in veteran benefits which in turn is put right back into our community.”
AARP are filing taxes for FREE for the public on Tuesday and Thursday using the secured wireless and they file about 35 returns each of those days. Officials say this helps area citizens in getting tax refunds and it puts millions back into the local economy.
Epic Schools serve Oklahoma kids who are taking online classes and use our wireless Internet and study rooms to do orientation, summarize and cumulative testing, and state mandated testing.
The library’s public printer allows anyone with a wireless device to print without logging into a computer in the lab.
They are now able to give the HiSet which is a high school equivalency test via the computer lab which will open another avenue for people to complete their education and better themselves.
Rundel said, “In the past months we have used the Internet service paid for from state and federal funds to help people print off their W-2s, download tax forms, apply for jobs, study for high school equivalency tests, and file for services like Sooner Care, Social Security benefits, and more.”
The library needs as much bandwidth as possible to serve everyone who utilizes the service. Rundel said, “It is physically not possible to have this many computers and wi-fi access for our citizens and non-profit groups with one simple household modem. There has to be a proper amount of bandwidth in order to achieve the services we provide. The return on investment is substantial and invaluable to our community.”
This service is one of the fastest areas of technology growth in the nation. As the internet ages, upgrades and new plans will be offered by the companies that provide internet.
Library Director Robbee Tonubee said, “Everybody pays the Universal Service Fee on their phone bill. That pays for schools and libraries internet service. Due to our 80% reduced lunch rating in Durant, we are eligible for the 80% discount. The State of Oklahoma pays our 20% extra. This city does not pay for this.”
Contact Dan Pennington at (580) 634-2162 or [email protected]