There is finally an end in sight for the months-long connectivity issues Bossier Parish Libraries has been facing since March 2017. The internet service provider we were under contract with folded after they were investigated for fraud by the Federal Communications Commission and fined $21 million. Read more about that here. This sudden loss of service caused critical trauma to our technological infrastructure.
As a public library system, we receive discounted telecommunications services from the FCC via the e-rate program, which means there are certain protocols we had to follow. These protocols, while necessary, make the entire contract process slower. We were able to sign a contract with a new internet service provider to restore some of our access but unfortunately they simply could not support our full network so we were unable to be fully operational at this point. We restored critical services such as circulation capabilities and internet in-house but were unable to provide WiFi or access to some services via our website such as the ability to check your account, search the catalog, or renew/place holds on items.
Since that time we have worked tirelessly to restore full access. We found a permanent internet service provider, that is capable of supporting our full network, and entered into a contract with them. However, it is not as simple as flipping a switch. Going with a new company means we need new compatible equipment and cables installed. Some of these cables have to be installed underground which requires crews digging, sometimes even underneath roadways. This work is sub-contracted out and is dependent on the weather among many other factors. All of these things have to work together and that takes time. A typical time-frame to fully install new fiber service is 90-120 days from the date of contract, which in our case was May 2017.
We sincerely thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we have done the best we can with the resources we had available. Currently we are receiving and installing new equipment and cables and hope to have all access fully restored in the upcoming weeks.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.