Area libraries are hitting the accelerator for those cruising the internet.

As part of a new contract between the Mississippi Library Commission and C Spire, area branches got a major speed boost for the public access internet service, which is available at no charge to patrons. Previous speeds were below the threshold of broadband.

With the upgrade, which was completed in September, the branches at Corinth, Rienzi, Booneville, Burnsville, Tishomingo, Belmont, Ripley and Baldwyn are blazing along at 100 Mbps. Corinth previously had a top speed of 10 Mbps, while the other branches were at 1.5 Mbps. They are among 149 libraries to get the speed increase with no cost increase.

There is one exception among the local branches – Iuka – which will get the upgrade at a later date.

The library gets many visits from people who do not have their own computer or internet service and need help with job hunting and submitting job applications and résumés.

“We serve a lot of people every day to help them find jobs in our community,” Regional Director Dee Hare told the Alcorn County Board of Supervisors this week.

Sometimes, people need help setting up an e-mail address and printing out their documentation.

“The faster speeds will also allow libraries the opportunity to provide new, innovative programming and services for their communities, which will open a whole new chapter to rural areas of the state,” said Jennifer Todd, technology services director with the Mississippi Library Commission.

The Corinth branch also got a telephone upgrade with new capabilities.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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