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Schools Health and Library Broadband Coalition Releases "Connecting Anchor Institutions: A Broadband Action Plan"

Washington, D.C. — Connecting our nation’s schools, libraries, health clinics and other community anchor institutions (CAIs) to next generation high-speed broadband is an important national priority. In an effort to provide federal, state and local leaders with policy options to ensure that all anchor institutions have high-speed connections to the Internet, the SHLB Coalition today is releasing “Connecting Anchor Institutions: A Broadband Action Plan.”

SHLB (The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition) is the leading advocate for open, affordable, high-capacity broadband for our nation’s community anchor institutions and their communities. The recently launched Grow2GiG+ Initiative is a campaign designed to help bring gigabit speed-and-beyond networks to all anchor institutions in America by 2020.

“Anchor institutions are the lifeblood of our communities, and access to high-speed Internet at our nation’s anchor institutions is the first rung on the ladder to success,” said John Windhausen, Jr., Executive Director of SHLB. “The SHLB Action Plan gives policy makers a road map for designing a broadband strategy that promotes education, health care and community enrichment.” 

The SHLB Action Plan is organized into ten policy papers that outline several paths to success, identifying problems and providing solutions that improve access, funding and infrastructure, so that all communities, urban and rural, rich and poor, can access more affordable, next generation broadband services. 

The papers share three common themes: Sharing, such as aggregation and public-private partnerships that eliminate silos and reduce costs; promoting competition to incentivize growth and bring more affordable options; and, funding strategies that help communities meet up-front build-out and deployment costs, and ongoing monthly fees. 

The SHLB Action Plan expands and integrates several of today’s leading policy topics -- including dig once, spectrum allocation and the FCC’s special access/business data service reform -- to illustrate how these policies can help improve education and lower heath care costs. 

To learn more, visit www.shlb.org/action-plan.

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