SHLB Coalition Celebrates 100th Member Milestone
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Posted by: Amy Robinson
For Immediate Release:
September 7, 2017
Communications Manager, SHLB Coalition
SHLB Coalition Celebrates 100th Member Milestone
Accelerated membership growth of school, library, and health broadband coalition reflects urgency of engaging anchor institutions to solve Digital Divide
Washington, DC (September 7, 2017) - By adding seven new members in just the past month, the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition announces that it has exceeded 100 members. The SHLB Coalition is a diverse partnership of schools, libraries, health networks, nonprofit broadband providers, state broadband offices, public interest groups, and commercial companies. Together, these organizations promote open, affordable, high-capacity broadband for anchor institutions and their communities.
This important milestone marks a period of accelerated membership growth. The past year alone, SHLB has almost doubled in size, making it one of the nation’s fastest-growing membership organizations focused on broadband policies. Internet for our schools, libraries, health providers, and other anchor institutions is an important national priority, and recent membership growth reflects the urgency of bringing high-speed broadband to and through anchor institutions to the community.
“With new leadership at the FCC and a broadband infrastructure bill expected from the Trump Administration, many organizations realize that broadband policy is changing quickly,” said John Windhausen, Jr., SHLB Coalition Executive Director. “The SHLB Coalition is proud to serve as a voice for anchor institutions in this dynamic policy environment. We will not rest until each and every school, library, health provider, and anchor receives the broadband connections it needs to serve its community.”
The SHLB Coalition takes a forward-looking approach to public policy and embraces technological change. It ensures that the interests of schools, libraries, health providers, and all other anchors are represented in all the critical wireless and wireline policy proceedings.
“The SHLB Coalition is the leading advocate, the strongest voice for the anchor institutions in the broadband world,” said Crosby Kemper III, Chairman of SHLB’s Board of Directors and Executive Director at Kansas City Public Library. “The milestone we have just passed shows that organizations throughout the digital ecosystem trust SHLB to advocate for digital equity and broadband connectivity. We resonate with policy makers across the aisle and in all parts of the country. The significance and future of SHLB’s leadership in broadband policy is certain.”
The Coalition works with the FCC, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Congress and other federal, state, and local government agencies to create future-ready communities. In particular, SHLB tackles pressing policy issues around EBS licensing and the FCC’s Universal Service Fund, which includes the E-rate program and the Rural Health Care program.
Without SHLB’s policy information, many anchors would be left in the dark regarding federal broadband policies.
“SHLB membership has given us the opportunity to stay up-to-date on federal policies that could impact the broadband service available to our hospitals and clinics. None of our health-related affiliations track broadband issues,” said Beth O’Connor, Executive Director at Virginia Rural Health Association.
Connecting schools, libraries, and clinics ensures that students, patients, senior citizens, unemployed and disabled populations have access to the resources and government services that they need. Anchor institution broadband is a matter of improving the education, health, and economy of communities across the nation.
“The Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) are grateful to SHLB for the expertise and knowledge it brings to the library field in both policy matters and practical learning opportunities,” said Timothy Cherubini, Executive Director at COSLA. “Interactions with SHLB invariably lead to greater knowledge, creativity, and expanded thinking about the issues and solutions important to anchor institutions’ ability to deliver value to their communities each and every day.”
The SHLB Coalition was created in 2009 to address the shortage of adequate broadband for schools, libraries, health clinics, and other community anchor institutions. While many gains have been made since its founding, a digital divide still persists, especially in rural America. SHLB’s core principle of connecting to and through anchors to surrounding residents will be key in closing this gap.
“SHLB provides advocacy and networking opportunities that are essential in closing the homework gap/digital divide for our students in the most need,” said Andrew Moore, Chief Information Office of Boulder Valley School District. “Think of a day without Internet and you'll understand the importance of achieving ubiquitous connectivity for all students to learn in an equitable manner.”
To learn more about SHLB Coalition and to see a list of its members, visit www.shlb.org.
"The Alliance for Community Media represents non-profits and government entities devoted to media creation and civic education in communities across the United States, and our members depend upon broadband to connect with citizens, clients and viewers. As community anchor institutions, we are delighted to work with the SHLB Coalition to ensure that all communities have the ability to connect and see their lives reflected in our broadband and media economy."
- Mike Wassenaal, President & CEO, Alliance for Community Media
“It's a privilege for Byte Back to add our voice to a group of impressive SHLB coalition members across the country who are fighting for digital equity. Our communities deserve the right to tech training, devices, and affordable broadband access. Working together, we can help put tech within reach.”
- Elizabeth Lindsey, Executive Director, Byte Back
“Clarity Solutions, Inc finds SHLB to be one of the most vital resources in the broadband and E-rate community. After pioneering the first district-wide rural fiber special construction funding in North Carolina, we feel broadband investments must be a top priority for our nation’s anchor institutions to forge forward and that the advocacy and collaboration SHLB fosters will be key to future success for all schools, libraries and healthcare institutions.”
- Brian Davidson, President, Clarity Solutions, Inc.
“Clearwave is excited to become a member of the SHLB Coalition. For several years now we have attended and participated in SHLB’s annual conferences. Like SHLB, Clearwave has been committed to bringing high speed broadband to schools, healthcare providers, and libraries since our inception. It is only natural that we would become a member of your outstanding organization. Thanks for all you and your organization do to promote the impact that broadband can have on these important anchor institutions.”
- Ray Cagle, COO, Clearwave Communications
"As a proud SHLB member since its inception in 2009, ENA has been honored to support the organization’s mission to help key anchor community institutions obtain affordable, high-speed broadband Internet connections. We have witnessed first-hand the positive impact SHLB’s initiatives and programs have had on the schools and libraries we serve nationwide."
- Lil Kellogg, Senior Vice President, ENA
“Rapid, unprecedented advances in educational technology and digital learning opportunities demand innovative broadband solutions to bridge the digital equity gap. We are thrilled and honored to join the SHLB Coalition's efforts to leverage the creativity and proactivity of its Members and other stakeholders to eliminate that gap and promote inclusion for all communities.”
- Vincent LaForgia, President, E-rate Consulting, Inc.
"EveryoneOn creates social and economic opportunity by connecting all people to the internet, with the goal of connecting one million people by 2020. We believe that collaboration with organizations like SHLB will not only help us meet this goal but also strengthen the ever-growing choir of voices committed to ending the digital divide once and for all"
- Veronica Creech, Chief Programs Officer, EveryoneOn
“SHLB brings Fatbeam valuable insights on industry trends, connects us to partners and is a fantastic voice for the support of communicating the importance of broadband is Schools, Libraries and the Healthcare industry.”
- Gregory Green, President, Fatbeam
"SHLB connects stakeholders across various industries, ultimately driving positive policy development through idea sharing. Helping us navigate through the United States' regulatory landscape, SHLB ensures that GeoLinks is always aware of areas where our insight and input could be valuable."
- Melissa Slawson, General Counsel and Vice President of Government Sales and Education, GeoLinks
“SHLB is the only voice for all community anchor institutions. By aggregating their needs and issues and by helping align their various policy positions SHLB has made a positive and unique contribution to public policy from the National Broadband Plan and across the entire universal service program spectrum.”
- Don Means, Executive Director, Gigabit Libraries Network
“Janice Meyers Educational Consulting, LLC has only been a member of SHLB for 2 months. After spending a year working with BTOP grant in the South Bronx in 2010-11, we are committed to helping urban and rural stakeholders have high speed broadband access. SHLB has provided a valuable source of information and community.”
- Janice Meyers, Owner, Janice Meyers Educational Consulting, LLC
“Kellogg & Sovereign Consulting, LLC has been a corporate member for the past two years. Our participation in SHLB calls and conferences has provided direct access to the decision makers with USAC, the FCC, and on the Hill. As a result of this access we have been able to provide direct input through conference calls and written examples of the issues we face every day working with E-rate and Healthcare applicants. Additionally, the interaction with other organizations helps us stay current on issues others are encountering as well.”
- Jane Kellogg, Executive Director, Kellogg & Sovereign Consulting, LLC
"Signal Labs is delighted to join fellow SHLB Coalition members doing the important work to ensure that high-capacity broadband connections are available to anchor institutions and their surrounding communities."
- Joel Brinton, CEO and Co-Founder, Signal Labs.
"SHLB provides a company like WANRack a voice in and around Washington. Our membership has already paid dividends."
- Rob Oyler, CEO & Founder, WANRack