The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. We strive to close the digital divide by promoting high-quality broadband for anchor institutions and their communities. Our members include hundreds of commercial and nonprofit organizations who support our mission.
The SHLB Coalition is the only organization that represents the interests of all anchors on broadband issues. Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) are typically non-profit, public service organizations, such as schools, libraries, and healthcare centers. They are gathering places for local communities, such as recreation centers, public house, and houses of worship. These institutions provide broadband access points to services such as email, job applications, and internet searches. Through these services, these anchors can also provide connectivity to the wider community via Wi-Fi and hotspot lending.
CAIs are the heart and soul of every locality across the United States. In the 21st century, high-speed broadband is the essential tool that CAIs need to serve and benefit the public. SHLB works on the E-rate, Rural Health Care, and other funding programs to ensure that CAIs have open, affordable, high-quality bandwidth for the future. The SHLB Coalition believes in building broadband "to and through" CAIs as a way to provide low-cost connections to the communities surrounding the anchor institutions. Policies that advance broadband deployment should:
- Include CAIs in addition to residential and business consumers.
- Be provider-neutral and commercially-viable.
- Embrace new technologies.
- Fund broadband networks that are open to interconnection and shared use.
SHLB’s Vision: For every community anchor institution and individual to have affordable, robust, and secure broadband services of their choosing, allowing people to enjoy a higher quality of life and participate fully in society, democracy, and the economy throughout their daily lives.
SHLB’s Mission: SHLB advocates for policies and programs that enable anchor institutions to obtain and promote open, secure, high-quality broadband services to support connectivity and opportunity for all.
SHLB Tagline: Closing the digital divide one anchor institution at a time.
SHLB’s Values: SHLB fosters collaboration among the public, private, and civic sectors to achieve our shared vision and mission. The ideals and principles set forth below guide our actions and interactions with our coalition members, anchor institutions, the broadband industry, government policymakers, and the public.
We passionately and optimistically pursue broadband and digital opportunity policies for anchor institutions and their communities.
As a coalition of diverse members, we are collaborative and bring as many voices to the table as possible.
We are forward-looking, embrace new technologies, and recommend policies that maximize the opportunities for anchor institutions in an ever-changing digital landscape.
We strive to build consensus, are respectful of others' positions, and avoid partisanship whenever possible.
We dive deep into complex issues – using facts, research, and expertise to influence our policy recommendations.