The Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER) continues to grow its work in serving unserved and underserved communities across Pennsylvania. The nonprofit is particularly excited to work with the Office of Commonwealth Libraries to serve as the managing agency for the Libraries Connect Communities and Broadband Resources Project.
KINBER is positioned to successfully support and execute this activity maximizing the impact of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds and serving community anchor institutions and populations in identified counties of greatest need.
“Libraries are community anchor institutions that play a critical role in providing free access to technology to those who may not have access otherwise,” said Glenn R. Miller, deputy secretary for the Office of Commonwealth Libraries. “Throughout the pandemic, we have heard countless stories of individuals and families who have used library devices or Wi-Fi from parking lots to complete homework, attend classes or job interviews, connect with loved ones, and more. Libraries are community partners that provide critical resources and tools that support families, schools, municipalities, businesses and organizations. This project will help libraries and their communities build technology capacity for Pennsylvanians in need.”
The first cohort has concluded, and KINBER was able to assist libraries in nine different counties to improve their network and broadband connectivity. KINBER helped 14 libraries increase their understanding of broadband technologies and capabilities as well as provide them with the equipment and resources to ensure their IT infrastructure is as future ready as possible.
“KINBER is pleased to collaborate with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office of Commonwealth Libraries,” said Nathan Flood, president and CEO of KINBER. “We understand the needs and services that are essential to support the targeted communities across the state that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic due to the lack of available connectivity and broadband resources.”
KINBER continues to meet with multiple libraries and service providers on ways to implement network connectivity solutions and help more people within their community, including facilitating and collaborating on small fiber builds with commercial providers in the area. With the success of the first cohort, KINBER is eager to move into a second cohort and assist libraries in another 28 counties to improve their network and broadband connectivity.
Providing this support to Pennsylvania’s public libraries is the first step in improving overall broadband needs in these communities. KINBER remains grateful for the opportunity to help provide high-quality broadband in the Commonwealth’s most unserved and underserved areas.
The Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER) is Pennsylvania’s statewide research, education, and community network. The non-profit organization is a trusted technology partner that provides a strategic and competitive advantage to 100+ Pennsylvania-based organizations through high-speed broadband connectivity, collaboration, and innovative
use of digital technologies. KINBER is committed to delivering equitable, reliable, and affordable digital infrastructure and tools to inspire tomorrow’s scientific discoveries, enable the exchange of ideas and culture among diverse populations, educate the next generation of citizens, and revitalize Pennsylvania’s economy.