The John P. Holt Brentwood Library now has enhanced WiFi throughout the building, the first of several Holt bequest projects.

Wireless has been upgraded to the new speed of 500 megabits and multiple access points have been added, as well as an increase of the bandwidth for the “Guest WiFi" from 150 megabits to 500 megabits. 

It is estimated that this is an improvement of three times the speed previously available in the almost 55,000 square feet building.

According to a news release the library previously had eight access points throughout the building, a number has been increased to 22 and can now support an additional 700 megabits of bandwidth, totaling one gigabit. 

With the increase of access points, the WiFi is now covering several previously dead spots in the library with an estimated increase of coverage by another 50%.

According to Brentwood’s Systems Administrator Dan Harrison said that the upgrade means both faster WiFi connections for users and a safer experience for users.

“We’ve all read articles warning of the dangers of using pubic WiFi. Those articles advise users to install application firewalls on their laptops and tablets before connecting. While that’s still good advice even on the new upgraded wireless, we’ve taken an additional approach and block all network traffic on the wireless that attempts to access anything other than the internet,” Harrison said in an email.

“As an example, if a hacker is at a Starbucks and on their wireless, with the right applications, he can scan all devices that are also connected to the wireless and attempt to break into them. The security measures we’ve put into place prevents this on any of the city’s public wireless networks,” Harrison said.

The total cost of these improvements was approximately $53,000 and was paid for by the Holt Bequest, a $4.2 million-dollar donation to the City of which $1.25 million may be expended.  

Funds were accepted in 2017 and the library’s name was changed to the John P. Holt Brentwood Library.  

The WiFi improvement is the first major project to be completed with the funds and according to Library Director Susan Earl the library and City Commission are currently discussing a change of furniture for the library as well as preparing for the next project of rearranging the used space within the library. 

Earl said that the most popular suggestion has been the addition of a coffee station and the possibility of solar panel installation far in the future.

“While we cannot expand, possibilities exist to rearrange the space to provide more meeting rooms and other enhancements of current services,” Earl said in an email. “Each project has its own timeline, but it is the goal to have the projects planned and projected for the next three-five years. The City and the Library Board are conscientious when utilizing the funds for the best use of the Holt funds, while addressing the concerns of our community.”

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