A Bright Future for the SHLB Coalition January 18, 2019
By Emily Olson, Chief Operating Officer, SHLB Coalition
The SHLB Coalition has always operated according to a simple belief: that access to Internet is access to opportunity.
Our commitment to this tenet has seen us pursuing the mission of connecting every anchor institution to broadband for almost ten years now. We’ve had some amazing wins –– from persuading the FCC to recognize anchor institution connectivity in the National Broadband Plan to increasing the funding for Universal Service Programs –– and this is just the beginning.
Now, with the adoption of our 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, we’re excited to build on our successes, strengthen the execution of our mission, and serve our members even better.
Over the next three years, we’ll be focusing on three core pillars:
Pillar One: Strengthening our Organizational Capacity and Sustainability
We’re proud to announce that 2019 is the first year in which our coalition becomes fully self-sustaining, following the sunset of the generous Gates Foundation funding that has supported us for the past nine years. Through this transition year, we’ll focus on diversifying our revenue streams, celebrating our sector diversity, enhancing the skills of our board and staff, and inviting more organizations to enjoy the benefits of being part of the SHLB Coalition.
Pillar Two: Expanding Our Policy and Press Operations
Anchor institution broadband doesn’t tend to be top-of-mind for most government officials, and consequently, doesn’t get the funding or attention it deserves. This year, we’re committed to raising our visibility with both policymakers and the press, so we can increase awareness of these important issues as well as highlight the good work of our members in serving their communities. We’ll continue deepening our relationships with the FCC, the Executive Branch, and Capitol Hill. For example, the upcoming Infrastructure legislation will provide a great opportunity for SHLB to educate policymakers about anchor institution broadband needs and develop realistic, forward-looking policy solutions.
Pillar Three: Membership Engagement
One of the best parts about our work is the relationships we develop with our members. Helping organizations collaborate to file comments at the FCC, sharing information that facilitates the delivery of telehealth services to populations that would otherwise be left to fend for themselves, and enabling schools and libraries to use 21st-century technology to promote learning is continually inspirational. We plan on giving back even more to our amazing members through increased professional development opportunities, growing our membership portal to include resource-sharing and forums, strengthening our group conference calls on key broadband topics, and reaching out personally to our members to create more opportunities for them to highlight their successes and solve their problems.
SHLB has a lot planned for the upcoming years. We’re excited about our work, and can’t wait to share the journey with you.
You can view the full public version of SHLB’s 2019 – 2021 Strategic Plan here.
Support SHLB’s CAI broadband advocacy by donating to our Honors Club.