ARLEY - Streaming television or movies and gaming will be a realization in the near future for Arley Public Library users, as high speed internet with a minimum speed of 100 megabits per second will soon be installed. Residents of Arley saw lines being dug and orange cable in rolls in the middle of town last week, as Star Construction, LLC of Knoxville, Tenn., readies Arley for high speed internet. Representative Tim Wadsworth made the announcement Wednesday, Feb. 5, that both Arley and Carbon Hill libraries received the grants to obtain the high speed internet.
The fast internet will be capable of streaming movies in high definition. As a general rule, the more MBPS the internet connection, the faster download speeds will be. Generally, the minimum speed for a high definition movie streamed is five to eight MBPS.
This internet will only be available at the APL. Users who have a library card may use the internet during or after hours, with the wifi being available outside the library in the parking lot. Library cards are free for Winston and Walker county and Haleyville residents. Outside of this area, a library card is $20 per year. Replacement cards are $5.
Federally, this has been made available by the universal service fee telephone users are charged on monthly bills. As part of the Federal E-Rate program, the fee is in turn used by schools, libraries and rural health clinics to receive affordable telecommunications and internet access. A state match has also ensured the library will not be charged any type of fee for the internet. The match was made by the Alabama Supercomputer Authority out of Huntsville.
“The ASA is the entity that does k-12 and libraries,” Wadsworth said. “In the 14th district, there are only two libraries that are public: Arley and Carbon Hill. Both are getting the high speed internet that is a 24/7 internet. There will not be any cost to the libraries.
“During this legislative session, there is a move to allow the ASA to pay for rural medical also,” Wadsworth continued. “Part of the legislation that is being introduced this time is to do a pilot project for 15 sites across the State of Alabama, where the ASA will provide the state match for the high speed internet for rural medical clinics that are 501(c)(3). That is the next step.”
“The issue in the past was having two or three sitting in the library downloading or uploading on their phone or their computer, and it would bog everything down, not to mention who might have been sitting outside using it,” Jennifer Stewart, librarian, mentioned. “This is going to help tremendously.”
“It’s a great program that has been set up,” Wadsworth added. “It was designed for this state to pay for the federal match. That way both the federal and the state combined to pay for libraries and k-12 schools. Things are moving in the right direction.”
“The ones who come in and utilitze it all the time should be able to tell right away (when the high speed internet is turned on),” Stewart said.
While this program does not include other businesses or residences for high speed internet, future connections are being looked at.
The high speed internet will be coming through the fiber optic line which runs through Arley, according to Wadsworth.
The target date for the internet to be turned on is late April or early May according to the ASA.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.