The Alberta SuperNet is a Government of Alberta initiative led by Service Alberta. http://www.servicealberta.ca/AlbertaSupernet.cfm
The Alberta SuperNet is a broadband network comprised of fibre cables and towers built to connect public institutions across the province and enable them to access high-speed internet access, video conference, and other services. While high-speed Internet access is possible with SuperNet, it is not equivalent to SuperNet.
The SuperNet provides three basic components that are integral to a fully-functioning library electronic network: speed; stability; and security.
These are key to facilitating basic library operations such as integrated library system (ILS) and network functions and also enabling access to other network services such as multimedia services and digital resources.
The provincial government has put the SuperNet into public libraries to:
1. Create a secure network that will allow public libraries to work together, share catalogue information and facilitate public borrowing of library materials from any public library in the province.
2. Provide high-speed broadband access to web-based and licensed information to all Albertans through their local public library even in areas that currently do not have high-speed services .
3. Establish a platform for more sophisticated information services such as video streaming, shared programming, and community information services through the public library.
The current budget for public library SuperNet connectivity is $2.6 million per year. This investment enable:
- public libraries and library systems to have secure, high-speed broadband access for their internal operations
- public libraries to give Albertans equitable access to physical electronic resources provincewide via shared library catalogues and globally available online databases
- PLSB to implement other provincewide initiatives such as Alberta-Wide Borrowing as well as access to extra resources for print-disabled Albertans