The SHLB Coalition Implores the FCC to Protect Local Broadband Competition
August 06, 2018


For Immediate Release

Alicja Johnson
(202) 261-6599

Washington, DC (August 6, 2018) - The Federal Communications Commission today received comments on the USTelecom Forbearance Petition, which requests that incumbent telephone companies be freed of their obligation to sell unbundled network elements (UNEs) to competitors at regulated rates. The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition implores the FCC to reject this Petition, as local broadband providers depend on UNEs to connect the anchor institutions and residents that incumbent telephone companies neglect.

The following statement can be attributed to John Windhausen Jr., Executive Director of the SHLB Coalition:

"The SHLB Coalition is very concerned that USTelecom's Petition to eliminate UNEs could lead to a loss of competitive options and higher broadband prices for schools, libraries and health providers.  At a time when teachers are forced to pay for pens, pencils, and paper out of their own pockets, we should not deepen the digital divide by crimping anchor institutions' budgets even further. We encourage the FCC to promote rural broadband deployment by finalizing the EBS and Rural Health Care proceedings, rather than reduce competition by granting USTelecom's Petition."


About SHLB:

The SHLB Coalition is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) advocacy organization that supports open, affordable, high-quality 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 from across the United States.  To learn more, visit

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