$2M in broadband grants available for rural Idaho libraries
“They will be able to provide 24-7 access to the internet in their parking lots and surrounding public areas.”
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Small libraries in Idaho will be able to apply for money to help with their internet though the Idaho Broadband Grant program.
The Idaho Commission for Libraries has been awarded two $1 million grants though the Idaho Broadband Grant program administered by the Idaho Department of Commerce, which utilizes funding from the CARES Act. The awards are for “Rural Libraries Connecting Idahoans via Wi-Fi Hotspots.” It’s designed to give Idaho’s most rural communities reliable, open, wireless internet access.
“This grant provides new network equipment, including some outdoor wireless access points so that the public libraries,” said Dylan Baker, the grant’s broadband consultant. “Even when they have to close, they will be able to provide 24-7 access to the internet in their parking lots and surrounding public areas in a way that people will be able to safely publicly distance from each other.”
The intent of these grants is that people within the communities will be able to use the new outdoor access points when it is convenient to the public, or people who cannot get to the library to use their device on the library’s internet when they are open.
The first $1 million grant will be awarded to public libraries serving communities of fewer than 3,000 people, then the second will be to libraries serving communities of fewer than 10,000 people. In total, 119 communities throughout the state would qualify for the grant.
The grand application deadline is Sept. 9. For more information on the grant and to apply you can do so on the Idaho Commission for Libraries website.
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