MCNC applauds SHLB's new Broadband Action Plan, Grow2Gig+ Initiative

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 has released “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 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 10 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.

To read the Executive Summary and the Action Plan, click here.

SHLB released the papers on Wednesday at an event in Washington D.C. held at the Alliance for Excellent Education featuring several of the papers’ authors and industry leaders who gathered to discuss their recommendations.

Keep up with real-time conversations on social media using #Grow2Gig and/or follow @SHLBCoalition on Twitter.