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Washington Public Libraries and the K-20 Network


On March 25, 1996 the K-20 Educational Network was established. The network is intended to deliver high-speed data and video access to educational institutions in Washington State.

In Phase I the network added connections to postsecondary institutions and Educational Service Districts. Phase II connected 294 of the state's 296 school districts, the public higher-education off-campus and extension centers, and the branch campuses of the community and technical colleges. Phase II was completed in December of 1999.

Phase III of the network added public libraries and private colleges to K-20. On October 25, 2001 the K-20 Governing Board voted to allow public libraries to join the K-20 network. The addition of libraries was partially subsidized by money obtained from a US West (Qwest) court settlement. All public libraries in Washington are eligible to join. Sharing this resource means substantial cost savings for many libraries while allowing our State to build a strong telecommunications infrastructure.

Public Library Participation

The Washington State Library (WSL) coordinates the addition of public libraries to the network, in cooperation with a number of other agencies and organizations involved in the operation of the K-20 network. WSL works closely with the K-20 Program Office and the University of Washington (UW) to ensure reliable, high-speed access to the Internet and online resources for libraries statewide.

Further information about the K-20 network is available at:
K-20 Education Network
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)
University of Washington

How Can Your Public Library Join K-20?

The first step in connecting to the K-20 Network is contacting the IT consultants at the State Library. An on-site visit will be scheduled to discuss the benefits and steps to be followed in completing this process.

What Preparation and One-Time Costs are Involved in Connecting to K-20?

All connection costs are covered by the K-20 Network. This includes fees charged for circuit installation, circuit termination hardware (including the router), and any other expenses involved with bringing the line to the library and terminating the connection. All maintenance and future router upgrades will be paid for by K-20.

The library is responsible for the ongoing cost of the transport circuit and ISP charges. The library must also provide an analog telephone line terminating at the K-20 router which provides a dial-in access point for troubleshooting and software upgrades. In addition, a technology plan approved for the purpose of E-rate must also be on record with the Washington State Library.

For single location libraries, a firewall will be needed to connect to the K-20 Network. Larger libraries or those that must route their connections to other locations will need to provide a router.

K-20 Co-pay Schedule for Libraries

K-20 Pricing

Beginning July 1, 2007, a new billing structure was implemented for libraries connected to the K-20 Network. While ISP Fees will continue to be charged based on actual bandwidth usage, circuit co-pays will now be driven by this same metric.

Quarterly Charges

Bandwidth Circuit Co-pay Estimated ISP Fees Estimated Total Charges
1Mbps - 6Mbps $400/Mbps ** **
Beyond 6M $60/Mbps *** ***

*Figures for ISP co-pay are estimated and for budgeting purposes only. Actual ISP co-pay will be based on bandwidth usage at the individual participating library system.

**A base price of $1,600 will be charged for up to the first megabit. Circuit co-pays in the range of 1-6 Mbps are based on actual ISP usage measured at the 95th percentile multiplied by $400/quarter and are independent of transport mechanism. (e.g. 1.12Mbps [$448] = 1.12Mbps * $400/quarter [$448]) ISP fees are charged at the current commodity price per megabit based on actual ISP usage measured at the 95th percentile.

*** Circuit co-pays beyond 6 Mbps ($9,600) measured at the 95th percentile usage increase at $240/Mbps per year. (e.g. 8Mbps [$2,520] = 6Mbps * $400/quarter [$2,400] + 2Mbps * $60/quarter [$120]) ISP fees are charged at the current commodity price per megabit based on actual ISP usage measured at the 95th percentile.

E-Rate discounts on the ISP portion of the billing will be sought for eligible libraries filing a form 479 certifying compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and letter of agency with the State Library. The discount for public libraries in Washington State has been approximately 60%. The discount will be applied only to those libraries filing a form 479 and applies only to the ISP portion of the pricing.

For more information about this project, please contact:

Gary Bortel
work: (360) 570-5588

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Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).