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Local

Dixon library makes better connections

City upgrades network with nearly a mile of new cables

The Dixon Public library's computer network recently got an upgrade. Nearly a mile of new cables replaced ones dating back 2 decades. The new lines are about 100 times faster than the old ones.
The Dixon Public library's computer network recently got an upgrade. Nearly a mile of new cables replaced ones dating back 2 decades. The new lines are about 100 times faster than the old ones.

DIXON – The library's computer network recently got an upgrade to provide better quality connections.

Network cables dating back 2 decades were replaced and rerouted throughout the Dixon Public Library in the last 3 months with lines about 100 times faster than the old ones.

"They were all old, damaged and in pretty poor shape," said Allen Philhower, the city's information technology director, who spearheaded the system overhaul.

The city installed 63 new cables spanning about 5,600 feet and plans to add 1,600 more feet. Work was done early in the mornings before the library opened to keep from disturbing staff and users.

Traffic counters also were installed to better gauge the number of people using the library, and they can distinguish between children and adults, Philhower said.

The main wiring hub was moved from the main floor to the basement to reduce ambient noise and provide a more secure area, Comcast ran a new internet cable with increased signal strength, and the project also opens up opportunities to upgrade the phone system.

Library phones are about 20 years old and have issues with voicemail and programability, he said.

The project also included doing away with the data server at the facility and switching over to a cloud-based system.

Doing the work in-house saved the city more than $16,000, and the cables should last another 20 years, Philhower said.

"Everything is in really good shape, and it will be viable for years to come."

CHECK IT OUT

 Dixon Public Library, 221 S. Hennepin Ave., is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Call 815-284-7261, go to discoverdixon.org or find it on Facebook for more information.

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