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

This has been a big month.  Rumors continue circulating around E-rate, policymakers keep pushing for an infrastructure bill, and Senators urged the FCC to reform the Rural Healthcare Program. Now more than ever it is important to have an advocate in DC fighting for anchor institution broadband. The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition has got your back. Read on to learn about new policy developments, including the Senate FCC oversight hearing and more.

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 two Full Member Policy Calls have been filled with important policy discussions and updates. Here are some of the highlights:
  • Infrastructure - Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced SHLB's Rural ABC Plan into the record of the Senate Infrastructure hearing. FCC Chairman Pai is also pushing for President Trump to include broadband in the infrastructure bill. SHLB hosted its most recent Grow2Gig+ webinar on recommendations for the infrastructure bill.
  • E-rate - Senate Democrats criticized Chairman Pai's withdrawal of an E-rate report. Chairman Pai gave a speech in Pittsburg suggesting E-rate should have a one-page application process and student-centric model.
  • Rural Healthcare Program - Six senators sent a letter calling on the FCC to protect broadband funding for rural healthcare and specifically referenced SHLB's petition. Read SHLB's press release. Chairman Pai gave his first policy speech and announced the continuation of Commissioner Clyburn's Connect2Health task force.
  • Broadband Study - Senator Capito (R-WV) and Senator Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced a bill requesting a study on the benefits of broadband
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


Rural Healthcare Program:
Solutions to Connect Our Rural Communities

April 20, 2017
11 am - 12 pm ET

Sign up for next month's webinar on the Rural Healthcare Program! 

The Rural Healthcare Program has reached a fiscal cliff. Funding requests for 2016 exceeded the program's $400 million cap, and USAC has not decided whether or how to grant applications filed in the most recent funding window. This could result in flash cuts or reductions for current participants. SHLB filed an emergency letter with ten Telehealth Networks and is currently urging the Commission to take immediate steps to provide interim relief. This is necessary to prevent rural health clinics from losing their broadband connections. Join our panelists as they discuss the importance of the Rural Healthcare Program, telemedicine, and other steps we can take to improve the health of rural communities.

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.


As the presidential election revealed, rural communities feel neglected and left behind. That's why SHLB's Grow2Gig+ webinar explore the specific broadband needs of rural America and how the upcoming infrastructure bill has the power to address those needs.

John Windhausen (Executive Director, SHLB Coalition) discussed funding mechanisms and recommendations in SHLB's recent Rural American Broadband Connectivity (ABC) Plan. John Richards (CEO & General Manager, Sho-Me Power Electric Cooperative) and Chip Byers (MoreNet) provided the rural/electric co-op perspective and shared practical insight from implementing broadband networks.

Beyond the Walls - DEADLINE EXTENDED!

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.

Save Your Seat at "United States of Anchors"

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.


  •   E-rate Fiber Workshop Wed, May 31
  •   Digital Inclusion Workshop Wed, May 31
  •   Public-Private Partnership Workshop Thurs, June 1
  •   Health Workshop Thurs, June 1
Find more information on the full agenda here.
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

  • Next Century Cities' Executive Director Deb Socia and Crosby Kemper, Kansas City Public Library's Executive Director, participated in the “Digital Equity: Power of Community Collaboration" panel at  SXSWedu in Austin, TX. They discussed how their organizations are working to provide creative solutions to ensure all have the necessary training, devices, and home Internet access to improve their quality of life. Read more about the panel.
  • Next Century Cities sent a letter with 62 mayors' signatures to the Trump Administration urging broadband to be included in infrastructure bill.
  • Read Funds for Learning's blog "E-rate Now More Than Ever" on how the E-rate program continues to grow and help schools and libraries connect.
  • American Library Association and Cox Communications partnered to narrow the digital divide for low-income families. Through this new partnership, more low-income families will have access to digital literacy training and resources in their local libraries and online at
  • National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) released a mapping analysis of FCC broadband availability data that strongly suggests AT&T has systematically discriminated against lower-income Cleveland neighborhoods in its deployment of home Internet and video technologies over the past decade.
  • GCI plans big expansion of broadband in rural Alaska, with federal help.
  • ENA Helps Close the Digital and Achievement Equity Gap for Idaho’s StudentsIdaho’s Wilder School District was one of 114 schools selected by Apple to participate in its ConnectED initiative. As part of Apple’s program, Wilder received iPads for every student and faculty member, as well as significant infrastructure upgrades, including the deployment of ENA Air, ENA’s managed Wi-Fi service. 
  • CENIC High Capacity Broadband Network Broadens its Reach and Provides Ultra High-speed Connectivity to its Members - As a result of a $76M investment by the State of California, CENIC and its partners are overcoming barriers to Internet connectivity in 312 of California’s hardest-to-reach public schools. Approximately 95,000 students in some of California's lowest-income and most-remote regions will benefit from these connectivity upgrades.
  • CENIC announces 2017 Innovations in Networking Awards. Recipients include Sunesys and Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) program.
  • 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 27
  • Mobile Beacon Grant Opportunity Available for Schools - Mobile Beacon is 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!
  • Internet2's Final Presidential Primary Sources Project 2017 Presentation:  The final presentation in the PPSP program series, "Propaganda Posters of World War II" from the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, will be held on Wednesday, March 29.  For more information on this free, interactive distance learning program, please visit the Internet2 K20 Initiative website.
  • NDIA Webinar: How the Evolution of Internet Service Technologies Impacts Digital Inclusion - Friday March 31, 2017 at 1:00 ET. Register Now!
  • Applications to Sprint’s 1 Million Project are due by March 31, 2017. Read a success story from Crawford High School.
  • 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.
  • Next Century Cities announced their next regional broadband summit, Digital Southwest, in Mesa, AZ, April 17-18. This full-day event will bring together broadband champions from federal, state, and local government, as well as community leaders and broadband policy experts from the Southwest and across the nation. Registration is free for all government employees, and $100 for general admission. Sponsorship slots are still available! Please contact Deb Socia for more information. 
  • Register for National Digital Inclusion Alliance's conference May 16-17 in St. Paul, MN before Early Bird closes April 6!
  • The University of Alaska and University of the Arctic invite you to attend the 2017 Arctic Broadband Forum May 8-9, which will unite educators, researchers and industry from across the World to discuss the challenges, successes and potential of telecommunications and broadband deployment in the Arctic for economics, healthcare and education. Specific emphasis will be placed on the role of broadband and digital technologies on the cultural preservation and self-determination of indigenous populations throughout the Arctic.
  • The Benton Foundation opened the application for its Charles Benton Junior Scholar Award to recognize a scholarship in the area of digital inclusion and broadband adoption. This special honor will be awarded at the TPRC Conference. Junior scholars are invited to submit. The Charles Benton Junior Scholar Award recipient will be presented with a $1,500 cash prize. Apply before May 30.

Member Mention: CENIC


CENIC connects California to the world—advancing education and research statewide by providing the world-class network essential for innovation, collaboration, and economic growth. This nonprofit organization operates the California Research and Education Network (CalREN), a high-capacity network designed to meet the unique requirements of over 20 million users, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers and others at vital public-serving institutions. CENIC’s Charter Associates are part of the world’s largest education system; they include the California K-12 system, California Community Colleges, the California State University system, California’s Public Libraries, the University of California system, Stanford, Caltech, and USC. CENIC also provides connectivity to leading-edge institutions and industry research organizations around the world, serving the public as a catalyst for a vibrant California.
CENIC positions California for the future –California has long been a leader in innovation and scientific breakthrough. As the 6th largest economy in the world, connectivity is the currency of growth and opportunity. In every realm of research and scientific inquiry, ultra-high bandwidth speed and capacity are a necessity. CENIC’s role is critical to California’s continued advancement in all realms of innovation. Our future relies on the engagement of all Californians in the digital economy, and CENIC equips them with the high-bandwidth, high-capacity network to enable that engagement by partnering with national and international research and education networks, governmental networks, and commercial networks to expand access broadly, working to support broad public access to the educational, research, and cultural assets that position California for a prosperous future.

Learn more at

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

- The SHLB Staff
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