Welcome to Anchor Bytes, SHLB's monthly newsletter. Learn how SHLB helps schools, libraries, and other anchors connect to open, affordable, high-capacity broadband.

As the Trump Administration settles into place, it has created a flurry of activity in Washington, DC. The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition is working to be your inside ear to any and all policy changes. In the past month, SHLB has advocated for its Rural American Broadband Connectivity (Rural ABC) Proposal and fought to preserve existing broadband programs. Read on to learn about the latest policy developments and why "An Open Application Process is the Way to Build Better Broadband."

If you want to stay up-to-date and receive more stories like these, be sure to follow SHLB on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


SHLB Updates

Summary of Policy Calls

The past three Full Member Policy Calls have been jam-packed with important policy discussions and updates. Here are the highlights:
  • Changes at the FCC: Ajit Pai was named Chairman of the FCC and has been discussing FCC reform. He wrote about his commitment to closing the digital divide and formed a Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC). The SHLB Board has nominated John Windhausen, SHLB's Executive Director, to serve on the BDAC. FCC Oversight Hearings are scheduled in the House and Senate on March 8.
  • E-rate: The FCC pulled the report on E-rate Success. Commissioner O'Rielly also wrote a letter to USAC on potential E-rate overbuilding. Read SHLB's response. SHLB and other organizations have formed an E-rate Preservation working group to fight for E-rate's future. 
  • Rural Health Care (RHC) Program: Several senators are about to send a letter urging the FCC to act on SHLB's recommendations to address the funding shortfall in the RHC Program. Read the letter SHLB initially filed.
  • Infrastructure Bill: Both the Senate and the House urged President Trump to include broadband in his potential infrastructure bill. SHLB created a hub to track the latest infrastructure developments and continues to promote its Rural ABC Plan (webinar on March 16).
  • Lifeline: Chairman Pai stopped nine companies from participating in Lifeline. Mark Jamison, a Trump Advisor, argued for the end of the program that subsidizes broadband for low-income families.
Now more than ever it is important for organizations like SHLB to defend the progress made towards closing the digital divide. To learn more in-depth information on these issues and support SHLB's advocacy, join as a Full Member and take part in our bi-weekly policy calls.

Grow2Gig+ Webinar Series

An Overview of SHLB's
Rural American Broadband Connectivity (Rural ABC) Program

March 16, 2017
11 am - 12 pm ET

Sign up for next month's webinar on SHLB's Rural ABC Program! John Windhausen will discuss recommended policy measures to encourage commercial and non-commercial broadband providers to deploy rural fiber and wireless broadband networks. He will also discuss how to make those services available to the general public at affordable prices through Community Anchor Institutions. Follow along with #Grow2Gig and stay tuned for more information on panelists.
Register Now

Previous Webinar

Recordings of webinars are posted the day following the webinar and are available for the general public for one month after the air date at which point they will only be available to SHLB members.


Many anchor institutions cannot afford their share of the cost of broadband, even after receiving federal funds from programs like E-rate. Fortunately, some states have developed programs to address Community Anchor Institution (CAI) funding and broadband challenges. SHLB's Grow2Gig+ webinar yesterday highlighted three of these different state programs. The webinar featured Kurt Kiefer and James Sylla (Wisconsin), Susan McVey (Oklahoma), and Diane Wells (Minnesota) and was moderated by Bob Collie (Parana River Group). 

Kurt Kiefer and James Sylla provided an overview of the Broadband Expansion Grant managed by Wisconsin's Public Service Commission. Susan McVey discussed the Oklahoma Broadband Initiative and how it connects schools, libraries, health clinics and other anchors. Diane Wells provided insight into Minnesota's successful Border-to-Border Broadband grant program. Learn how your state can support greater broadband connectivity for all!

Beyond the Walls!

Tens of millions of people in the U.S. rely solely or in part on public libraries to access the Internet. With TV WhiteSpace technology people can connect beyond library walls to the Internet. With grant funds provided by IMLS, the “Beyond The Walls” Awards will provide five $15,000 grants to libraries for the most innovative proposals to use TV WhiteSpace (TVWS) technologies to enable new library hotspots in the service of their communities.

TVWS uses the unused spectrum in the TV bands. It can deliver broadband to a hotspot miles away, even passing through trees, buildings or other obstructions. Installing TVWS hotspots can improve your community’s resilience by adding another communications capability for disaster preparedness.

"Beyond the Walls" Awards brought to you by San José State University's iSchool, Gigabit Libraries Network, SHLB Coalition, National Digital Inclusion Alliance, and Information Technology Disaster Resource Center.

Early Bird Registration Closing March 1!

SHLB will hold its Seventh Annual Conference, May 31 – June 2, 2017, just outside Washington, DC. The SHLB Annual Conference is the premier conference on anchor institution broadband. It brings together broadband providers, local, state and federal government leaders, and officials from the education, library, and health communities. Register now to receive $100 off with Early Bird pricing!


  •   E-rate Fiber Workshop planned for Wed. afternoon May 31
  •   Digital Inclusion Workshop added for Wed. afternoon May 31
  •   Public-Private Partnership Workshop planned for Thursday morning, June 1
  •   Health Workshop planned for Thursday afternoon, June 1
The full agenda will be posted next week.
Attend United States of Anchors: SHLB's Seventh Annual Conference
Register Today!
SHLB Members receive 25% off of registration. If you are a member, please contact Amy Robinson for the promo code.

Additional SHLB Updates


SHLB Member Updates

  • Submission deadline for Next Century Cities and Google Fiber's Digital Inclusion Leadership Awards has been extended to today, February 17, 2017. Award categories include: Leader in Digital Inclusion Best Practices and Most Promising New Plan. Winners will be announced in spring 2017. Learn more about previous winners and the awards program here.
  • Applications are also being accepted for the 2017 KINBER Diversity Scholarship aimed at broadening participation in the field of advanced networking technology. Apply before February 28, 2017.
  • Apply to Gigabit Libraries Network's "Beyond the Walls" project to win $15,000 to install TVWS technology in your library. Applications are due March 6
  • Crosby Kemper III, Director of Kansas City Public Library, and Deb Socia, Executive Director of Next Century Cities, will be on the SXSW panel "Digital Equity: Power of Community Collaboration" on March 6.
  • Mobile Beacon Grant Opportunity Available for Schools - Mobile Beacon is now accepting applications for its Connect for Success grant. The Connect for Success grant will give education organizations the tools needed to harness the power of the internet and get it into the hands of those students who need it the most. The grant provides schools with up to 25 laptops and 4G LTE hotspots with free 4G LTE high-speed Internet service for 12 months. The deadline to apply is March 27, 2017Learn more and apply today!
  • Applications to Sprint’s 1 Million Project are due by March 31, 2017. Read a success story from Crawford High School.
  • Early registration is now open for the KINBERCON 2017 annual conference happening in Pittsburgh April 3-5, 2017. KINBERCON 2017 will focus on Cloud, IoT, and Security and features a streamlined schedule format featuring a day of breakout sessions followed by a full day of technical training workshops.
  • CoSN will commence its milestone 25th year at its Annual Conference, April 3-6 in Chicago, IL. Join CoSN as they Invent the Future and cement their commitment to providing essential resources and professional advancement opportunities that help EdTech leaders achieve successful technology integration and transform learning. CoSN’s network of Certified Education Technology Leaders (CETL®) is rapidly growing. Sign up for CoSN’s two day facilitated Immersion Course, April 1-2 in Chicago, IL, in preparation for the CETL® exam

Member Mention: CETPA


CETPAThe California Educational Technology Professionals Association (CETPA) is an association of Educational Technology Professionals (technologists) within the State of California. Founded in 1960, the major emphasis of the association's activities are directed towards improving Administrative Information Processing in public education and to prepare its membership to better meet and support the technological needs of the Instructional Program.

One of the Association's goals is to promote the integration of instructional and administrative technology in school agencies. The Association also functions as a conduit of information between the California Department of Education, vendors working in the educational environment, other associations, the Sacramento Legislature, and local agencies.

CETPA provides professional development, publications, consortium buy licensing programs with Microsoft and Adobe, information on legal and political issues, and builds a strong sense of community for the IT Professionals working in schools.

By providing pertinent information to its membership in a timely manner, the Association can prepare educational technologists to better meet and support technological demands placed upon them by their respective educational agencies in both the instructional and administrative arenas.

Join us this year for our 57th Annual Conference November 14-17, 2017 at the Pasadena Convention Center.  See for more information.

BLOG: An Open Application Process is the Way to Build Better Broadband

By John Windhausen, SHLB Executive Director 

Who would have guessed that the election of President Donald Trump would ignite a bonfire about broadband? On January 17, the FCC’s Paul de Sa released a thoughtful paper estimating that it would cost $80 B to deploy high-speed broadband to every home in America, but “only” $40 B to get to 98% of homes. Senate Democrats then released their “Blueprint to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure” on January 24 calling for $20 B in broadband spending. Two days later, USTelecom held a nice event at the National Press Club called “Broadband First”, where it suggested running all future broadband funding through the “tried and true” Connect America Fund. Then on February 1, the Senate and House Broadband Caucuses collaborated on a bi-partisan, bi-cameral event to make the case for including broadband funding in upcoming infrastructure legislation. Incoming Chair of the House Telecom Subcommittee -- Marsha Blackburn (R.-TN) -- interviewed on CNN -- also called on the Trump Administration to support broadband funding. And Congressmen Huffman, Pocan and Nolan just introduced their “New Deal Rural Broadband Act.”

What are we to make of all this buzz about broadband? Of course, there is a great need for high-speed Internet access, and those that do not have it are falling further behind. And even those who have low-speed broadband today need more bandwidth. This is especially true of schools, libraries, health clinics and other anchor institutions, whose demand for broadband capacity generally doubles every 18 months. Online learning, job-training videos, and remote telemedicine all demand greater and greater bandwidth. According to EducationSuperhighway, 11.6 million students in 19,000 schools still lack access to adequate broadband, and the homework gap means that 5 million households have students that cannot go online to finish their homework assignments. 


Thanks for reading and stay tuned
for next month's issue!

- The SHLB Staff
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