SHLB Coalition Welcomes 22 New Members in 2018 June 26, 2018
For Immediate Release:
June 26, 2018
Communications Manager, SHLB Coalition
Washington, DC (June 26, 2018) - With the most recent addition of the State Library of Iowa, the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition has welcomed a total of 22 new members this year. The SHLB Coalition is a diverse partnership of 140 anchor institutions, commercial companies, non-profit broadband providers, foundations, public interest groups, and others. Together, these organizations promote open, affordable, high-quality broadband for anchor institutions and their communities.
“The State Library of Iowa is excited to team up with SHLB to increase broadband speeds for Iowa libraries and assist in navigating the complex service provider landscape in our state,” said Jay Peterson, a Library Consultant for the State Library of Iowa. “Most of Iowa's 545 public libraries serve towns under 2,000 people, so making public access computing and broadband speeds the best they can will have a significant and positive impact.”
In addition to many new libraries (accounting for 23% of the new members), SHLB also welcomed several representatives of the health sector, such as Palmetto Care Connections.
“Palmetto Care Connections joins SHLB to further aid in the deployment of affordable broadband to rural South Carolina Healthcare, along with neighboring states,” said Matt Hiatt, IT Director for Palmetto Care Connections. “It is our hope that these savings will further aid in the deployment of Telehealth and EHR [Electronic Health Records] in the rural communities to close the disparity gap between urban and rural communities, along with saving Healthcare dollars for unnecessary ER visits.”
The SHLB Coalition was created in 2009 to address the shortage of adequate broadband for schools, libraries, health clinics, and other community anchor institutions. The coalition, which includes the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), the American Library Association (ALA), California Telehealth Network, Google, and Cisco, works with the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and other federal, state, and local government agencies to close the digital divide and create future-ready communities.
"This recent spur in membership is testament to the unifying power of our anchor advocacy,” said SHLB Coalition Executive Director John Windhausen. “Representatives from the school, library, and health sectors are banding together across the nation to achieve affordable, high-quality broadband for their communities. We are excited to incorporate their collective expertise and experience in our national advocacy.”
The Internet has become a cornerstone of American life, learning and economic growth. It is the key infrastructure that anchors need to provide 21st century education, information, and health services to the public. To learn more about the SHLB Coalition and membership, visit www.shlb.org.