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Faulconer to promote raising library bandwidth

With San Diego City Council preparing for its final review of his S3.2 billion proposed budget, Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Thursday planned to visit the Malcolm X Branch Library in the Encanto neighborhood to tout one of the budget's smaller additions, a $98,400 plan to increase Internet bandwidth and download speeds at public libraries.

Joined by library director Misty Jones and representatives from Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), Faulconer hopes to show how the plan will help library users go online to do research, work on school reports, file important information or apply for work – services that he said are especially important in underserved communities where families might not be able to afford broadband access.

The funding will be used to increase the libraries' cable modem bandwidth to 100 megabits per second, or four times faster than current speeds.

If the city council approves the program next week, the bandwidth increases should go into effect sometime this summer, according to the mayor's office.

There are currently almost 300 public computers at the Central Library downtown and 807 computers in local branches.

Last year, users accessed the Internet 2.1 million times through those computers, which is projected to rise to 2.2 million this year.

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