About the SHLB Coalition


The SHLB Coalition is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) advocacy organization that supports open, affordable, high-capacity broadband connections for anchor institutions and their surrounding communities. The SHLB Coalition is based in Washington, DC and has a diverse membership of commercial and non-commercial organizations that support our Mission from across the United States. We receive financial support from membership dues, from our conferences and events, and from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Our Past

The Coalition was first formed in 2009 as a short-term project to support the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) funded by the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. We also engaged with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in helping to shape the National Broadband Plan, the E-rate program and the Connect America Fund in 2010-2011. Because of our policy impact, the growth of our membership and success of our conferences, we decided in 2012 to become a permanent institution. We named a formal Board of Directors and incorporated in D.C. in 2012 and recently received 501(c)(3) approval from the IRS.

Our Present

On the policy front, we have been very active in supporting a variety of federal initiatives to support broadband for anchor institutions. We have been working with the FCC to promote capital investment in the E-rate reform, and we recently submitted a study estimating the costs of deploying fiber to the remaining schools and libraries without fiber. We have been engaged in reform of the Connect America Fund to promote broadband investment for anchor institutions in rural areas. We are also increasing our involvement with the FCC's Healthcare Connect Fund to promote greater deployment and use of tele-medicine networks by rural health organizations, and we have recently formed a Health Broadband Working Group that meets every two weeks (separate from our regular bi-monthly SHLB Membership calls).

Our Future

With the support of the Gates Foundation, we recently completed a strategic plan to chart our course for the next three years (2015-2017). The plan calls for the SHLB Coalition to increase our interaction with state broadband officials, and we have already co-sponsored a broadband conference in Michigan in October 2014 and are hosting a statewide broadband in Kansas in January 2015. We will also be developing an Anchor Institution Action Plan, supported by additional research, which will provide detailed recommendations for policy-makers at all levels of government about how to promote broadband for anchor institutions and their communities.

The SHLB Coalition is growing! We are increasing our membership, expanding our policy initiatives, hosting more events, expanding our community of supporters, and increasing our impact on policy-makers and communities across the country. We seek to cross traditional boundaries, encouraging conversation and cooperation across multiple sectors to seek practical, "win-win" solutions to the needs of anchor institutions and their communities for broadband services. We welcome your support!

Sincerely,

John Windhausen, Executive Director, jwindhausen@shlb.org, (202) 256-9616

Emily Olson, DIrector of Operations, eolson@shlb.org, (202) 263-4626