VALA2002 Session 13 Feighan

vala peer reviewed

Gee, I didn’t think it was going to be that much: a report on the issues and implications of technically sustainable and affordable bandwidth for Australian libraries

VALA2002 CONCURRENT SESSION 13: e-nabling Infrastructures
Friday 8 February 2002, 14:00 – 14:30
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David Feighan and Peter Schmidt


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This paper explores the dilemma of increased bandwidth requirements and costs in the light of stagnant or decreasing library budgets, and how one group of Australian libraries have attempted to resolve this problem by shared networking and consortia purchasing. Increasingly, library services are dependent on Internet bandwidth to deliver information services, and the bandwidth required for, as well as the cost to deliver, these on-line services is increasing. As the delivery of on-line services has become a core library business, speed and reliability have become increasingly important, as has the recurring cost of bandwidth, but library funding does not always recognise these facts. The Internet industry has become more complex and offers greater choice for delivery (terrestrial, atmospheric, satellite) as well as offering a wide array of cost structures, but these offerings are not necessarily the best solution for the libraries involved. Pricing and technical options often have hidden costs and though they may suit current needs, increased usage makes the costs prohibitive. This paper draws on practical experience in delivering sustainable cost-competitive bandwidth solutions to libraries and looks at how collaborative solutions can offer benefits to the participating libraries.


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