Rural community benefits from cheaper internet and telephone phone
Matt Roberts, Director of Communications
Phone: (602) 542-2228
Secretary of State Michele Reagan praised Clifton Public Library in their effort to provide their community with improved access to reliable computer service, through the use of E-rate funding.
“E-rate is funded through the universal service charge on the phone bills and Arizona State Library works with public libraries to ensure that they take advantage of available funding for costs related to telephone, internet and internal connections. Reimbursements are based on the National School Lunch Program percentage and can be as high as 90 percent. Clifton Public Library is one of over 200 public libraries in Arizona receiving E-rate reimbursements. During 2016-17 approval was received for more than $4.2 Million and since its inception in 1998 Arizona’s public libraries have received more than $24 million.
According to the Clifton Public Library, they were able to increase their bandwidth, add more public use computers and allow patrons to access the internet on their own devices, using Wi-Fi. In addition, the increased bandwidth enables them to do GED testing without the fear of the internet service dropping. “
“E-Rate reimbursements allow libraries like Clifton to provide all kinds of programs including college prep and code clubs,” said Secretary Reagan. “The extra bandwidth also makes it easier for people to access the internet with their tablets, or smartphones in the library.”
“It is very rewarding to see our community successfully using the library internet for a variety of needs and concerns,” said the Director Sabrina Dumas. “Access to the internet is too often taken for granted. Online access and skills are not only necessary for seeking, applying for and getting today’s jobs, but also to take advantage of the growing educational, civic and healthcare advances.”