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Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Lake Stevens schools get quicker Internet

A federal grant and the assistance of a nonprofit group helped the school district upgrade its connection.

Schools in the Lake Stevens School District are receiving faster connection to the Internet after the nonprofit Northwest Open Access Network helped the district upgrade to broadband over telephone cable lines.
Last fall, schools and administration buildings received the help of the Tacoma-based nonprofit to connect three schools using fiber-optic cables. The school district then connected the rest of the schools. Last month, students started using the new Internet connection for classroom work.
"We can now use more resources in our classroom because we have a connection that can now download video and receive more information," said Robb Stanton, director of operation services for the district.
The district also received a visit from U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., who visited Sunnycrest Elementary School and talked with staff about students using the faster connection to study.
Northwest Open Access Network, also known as NoaNet, aims to help connect schools, hospitals and universities with broadband throughout the state. The $184 million project is mostly paid by a three-year federal grant. The nonprofit and other organizations raised $44 million of that total, spokeswoman Angela Bennink said.
The Lake Stevens School District did not pay for the upgrade, she said.
NoaNet started in 2010 and has finished work in the county this spring and are working in other parts of the state, Bennink said.
Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

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