Past SHLB Events


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Special Workshop E-rate Emergency Connectivity Fund  

Special Workshop: Erate Emergency Connectivity Fund

June 9, 2021

Following the Federal Communications Commission's establishment of the Emergency Connectivity Fund, the SHLB Coalition hosted an in-depth virtual workshop to help schools and libraries apply for this historic funding opportunity. Drawing more than 300 attendees, the event featured three different tracks for schools, libraries, and commercial providers to help each group of stakeholders digest a whole host of new program rules in a short amount of time. 


Over 20 speakers participated in the event, including FCC staff and E-rate experts from the American Library Association, Broadband Legal Strategies, CSM Consulting, E-rate Central, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, Foresight Law+Policy, Funds For Learning, Infinity Communications & Consulting, KB & Associates, Kellogg & Sovereign Consulting, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, and tthe State E-rate Coordinators' Alliance. 


Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel delivered keynote remarks.


Watch Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel's Keynote Remarks

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AnchorNets Online 2020  

AnchorNets Online 2020

August to November, 2020

In lieu of holding an in-person Annual Conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SHLB Coalition hosted a virtual workshop series to meet our community's needs. The series included six workshops on E-rate, spectrum, and the Rural Health Care Program, as well as two VIP sessions. SHLB members can watch the recordings at anytime via the membership portal (login required):

AnchorNets Online was made possible by SHLB's generous sponsors, including the American Library Association, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, CommScopeENAKelley Drye & Warren LLP, Levine Blaszak Block & Boothby, LLPNetsync, and Red River.

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9th Annual SHLB Conference  

AnchorNets 2019: The Ninth Annual SHLB Conference

October 16 - 18, 2019

Roughly 300 broadband champions from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors came to Crystal City to focus on connecting schools, libraries, healthcare providers, and their communities to high-quality broadband. The event's workshops, keynote addresses, and breakout sessions covered broadband infrastructure, telehealth, E-rate, the homework gap, and spectrum. 


Keynote sessions ignited discussion on the important role community anchor institutions play in digital equity. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr addressed the AnchorNets audience on the morning of October 17. In a Q&A moderated by SHLB Coalition Chairman of the Board Eric Brown, the Commissioner highlighted his work promoting telehealth and ensuring the U.S. leads the race to 5G. FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks made inspiratonal remarks at the October 17 lunch plenary session. Praising libraries for the many ways they serve their communities, the Commissioner noted that libraries are leaders in closing the digital divide - surpassing even the FCC with their impact. Commissioner Starks also participated in a fireside chat with Former NTIA Head Larry Irving. On October 18, NTIA Acting Administrator Diane Rinaldo took the stage, sharing updates on the pilot National Broadband Availability map, the American Broadband Initiative, and BroadbandUSA. Following her remarks, Senior Adviser Jennifer Duane and Telecommunications Policy Analyst Rafi Goldberg participated in a Q&A about NTIA's recent work. 


The Conference also marked the SHLB Coalition's first-ever Annual Anchor Awards, recognizing anchors for their exemplary work in line with SHLB's mission of broadband access for all. SHLB COO Emily Olson announced the first recipients: the Santa Fe Indian School, the North Carolina Telehealth Network Association, and the Springfield-Greene County Library District. 


SHLB thanks the following organizations for supporting the Annual Conference with sponsorship:

  • Gold Sponsors: Education Networks of America, Netsync, TeleQuality Communications
  • Silver Sponsors: Davis Wright Tremaine, Funds For Learning, Kellogg & Sovereign, Womble Bond Dickinson
  • Bronze Sponsors: Crown Castle, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, Infinity Communications and Consulting, Kelley Drye & Warren, Mobile Beacon
  • Media Parter: Broadband Breakfast

Learn more about the Anchor Awards

View Photos

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10 Years of SHLB Reception  

10 Years of SHLB Reception

June 11, 2019

The SHLB Coalition celebrated its 10th anniversary with a reception at the Hamilton Restaurant in Washington, D.C. A hundred SHLB supporters came from across the country to enjoy drinks and conversation about the nation's progress in connecting community anchor institutions. The highlight of the evening was a panel discussion on the future of the Universal Service Fund, co-moderated by Former FCC Chairman Dick Wiley and Former Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Larry Irving. The panelists included: 

  • Chairman Tom Wheeler
  • Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein
  • Commissioner Mignon Clyburn
  • Commissioner Rachelle Chong

The event was made possible by SHLB's generous sponsors, including the American Library Association, the Benton FoundationCiscoCrown CastleEducation Networks of AmericaFletcher Heald & Hildreth, PLCGeoLinksHarris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLPKelley Drye & Warren LLPLevine Blaszak Block & Boothby, LLPTeleQuality CommunicationsVelocity Fiber


View event photos

Download SHLB's impact doc

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Improving Rural Healthcare with Broadband and Telehealth  

Improving Rural Healthcare with Broadband and Telehealth

June 10, 2019


Congress established the Rural Health Care (RHC) program in 1996 so that healthcare providers could obtain affordable, high-quality broadband to provide telemedicine to rural consumers. Unfortunately, the RHC program (administered by the FCC) suffers from delays and a myriad of other problems that are causing some health care providers to drop out of the program. SHLB brought these issues to the attention of congressional staffers with a briefing that featured existing RHC participants. Speakers discussed the program's intended benefits, and how to solve its crippling problems: 

  • John Windhausen Jr., executive director, SHLB Coalition;
  • Kristi Walker, senior project manager, Community Care of West Virginia;
  • Brian Doerr, senior vice president of information technology and security & privacy officer, Community Hospital Corporation; 
  • Jon Cochrane, chair, Bethel Family Clinic;
  • Nic Powers, CEO, Winding Waters Community Health Center; and
  • Jeff Mitchell, attorney, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth

Download speaker slides

RHC Program One-pager

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SHLB State of Broadband  

The Economic Benefits of Keeping the "E" in EBS

May 15, 2019

The SHLB Coalition partnered with Telecom Advisory Services' Dr. Raul Katz to release new research findings on the economic and social effects of awarding Educational Broadband Service (EBS) licenses to educational institutions and Tribal Nations. SHLB unveiled the research with a special presentation at the National Collaborative for Digital Equity's Second Annual Summit, in Washington, D.C. In addition to Dr. Katz, speakers included John Windhausen Jr., executive director, SHLB Coalition; Robert McLaughlin, executive director, NCDE; Melissa Greene, director of strategic partnerships, State Educational Technology Directors Association; and Ellen Satterwhite, policy fellow, American Library Association. 


Watch recording 

Download research presentation

Download research one-pager

View event photos

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Window Of Opportunity: How EBS Spectrum Can Close the Digital Divide  

Window Of Opportunity: How EBS Spectrum Can Close the Digital Divide

March 7, 2019


The SHLB Coalition hosted a Capitol Hill briefing to educate and inform legislators about the immense potential of the Educational Broadband Service (EBS). EBS is a portion of the 2.5 GHz wireless spectrum that was licensed to educators in roughly half of the U.S. Due to a license freeze since 1995, EBS remains unavailable to roughly 50 million Americans, mostly in rural areas. In April 2018, the Federal Communications Commission proposed to finish licensing this spectrum to local educational entities and rural Tribal Nations.


"Window of Opportunity" showcased the many ways that organizations are using EBS to address rural broadband access, even in the most remote areas. SHLB Executive Director John Windhausen moderated a discussion between a current licensees and others interested in preserving EBS for the public good:

  • Katherine Messier, Director of Development, North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation; Founder and Executive Director, Mobile Beacon;
  • Gavin Leach, Vice President for Finance and Administration at Northern Michigan University;
  • SuAnn Witt, State E-Rate/Tech Project Coordinator, Nebraska Department of Education; 
  • Mariel Triggs, Chief Executive Officer, Mural Net;
  • Mitchell Koep, Chief Executive Officer, A Better Wireless; and
    • Special guest: Hannalou Cathey, 3rd Grade Student, Battle Lake, Minnesota. 

Watch the event recording

Download speaker slides

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The 8th Annual SHLB Conference  

Building the Future Bit by Bit: SHLB's Eighth Annual Conference

October 10 - 12, 2018


Community leaders, industry powerhouse, and policymakers united at SHLB's 8th Annual Conference to build the future bit by bit. Over 300 attendees enjoyed two interactive workshops, 15 in-depth breakout sessions, and ample conversation on the most pertinent topics for anchor institution broadband. Bit by Bit also introduced the first SHLB Conference VIP Track, which included a high-level overview of the marketplace with broadband policy thoughtleaders and an intimate dinner. 


As always, the Conference featured a number of prestigious plenary speakers. U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, R-M.O., and Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft opened the event with an update on how they're connecting their state to broadband. Larry Irving, president and CEO of the Irving Group, reviewed the 1993 "Agenda for Action" and explored how the U.S. can maintain its role as a world leader on internet issues moving forward. FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly participated in a broadband policy jam session, covering topics like CBRS and C-Band spectrum. Leslie Morissette, founder of Grahamtastic Connection, described how her organization provides free technology to children with serious illnesses so that they can continue their education during hospital stays. Finally, a panel of Congressional staffers discussed what factors will drive broadband legislation in the 116th Congress. 


SHLB thanks the following organizations for supporting the Annual Conference with sponsorship:

  • Gold Sponsors: GeoLinks, Education Networks of America, TeleQuality Communications
  • Silver Sponsors: Infinity Communications and Consulting, Kelley Drye, Womble Bond Dickinson, CBRS Alliance, Glen Echo Group, the One Million Project Foundation, Funds For Learning, Davis Wright Tremaine
  • Bronze Sponsors: Crown Castle, Lukas LaFuria Gutierrez & Sachs, Mobile Beacon, Cost Quest
  • Lunch Sponsors: Henkels & McCoy, CTC Technology & Energy
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SHLB State of Broadband  

Broadband4All: Universal Service Symposium

November 2, 2017

The SHLB Coalition convened Broadband4All: Universal Service Symposium on the future of anchor institutions and the Universal Service Fund (USF) on November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Symposium helped applicants, state and local government officials, and broadband service providers understand and anticipate upcoming changes in the E-rate, Rural Health Care, Lifeline, and Connect America Fund programs.  The Symposium was divided into four Workshops (one on each of the four USF programs) and a keynote discussion with Mark Jamison and Harold Feld over lunch. Speakers included a mix of government officials, industry experts and anchor institutions.


View the agenda (with slides and audio recordings).

View photos from the event.

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SHLB Seventh Annual Conference  

United States of Anchors: SHLB's Seventh Annual Conference

May 31 - June 2, 2017


Federal and local broadband leaders, anchor institutions and industry came together to discuss pressing policy issues, such as E-rate, Lifeline, Broadband Infrastructure, and the Rural Health Care Program.


The event featured remarks from Gov. Bob Wise (President of Alliance for Excellent Education), Greg Green (CEO of Fatbeam), and Skyler Ditchfield (CEO of California Internet). It also included a congressional plenary panel with Charles Flint (Legislative Director and Counsel for Congressman Marsha Blackburn) and David Goldman (Chief Telecom Counsel for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Democratic Staff). In addition, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai and several FCC, USAC and NTIA staff attended the event.


Demand for anchor institution broadband is high, as shown by the record attendance. Over 300 broadband leaders and anchors from across the country gathered to discuss these policy issues. This attendance was over 33% higher than the year before, and over 120 people attended the E-rate & Fiber Workshop. In addition, this was the first year that SHLB’s Annual Conference featured exhibitors who showcased cutting-edge technology and solutions for anchor institutions.


The Conference featured four workshops and 14 in-depth and innovative breakout sessions covering five tracks: E-rate, Digital Inclusion, Telehealth, Financing, and Broadband Policy in the Trump Administration. This annual event regularly highlights SHLB’s key role in advocating for the broadband needs of schools, libraries, clinics, and hospitals and other anchor institutions.. SHLB brings diverse sectors together to advance digital equity as a whole.


SHLB thanks the following sponsors for their support of this year’s conference:

  • Gold Sponsors: Fatbeam and California Internet
  • Silver Sponsors: Conterra, CostQuest, ENA, Ruckus Wireless, Rural Health Telecom, Funds for Learning, Womble Carlyle
  • Bronze Sponsors: Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, Infinity Communications & Consulting, Netsync Network Solutions
  • Lunch & Reception Sponsors: Henkels & McCoy, MiCTA, CTC Technology & Energy

View highlight reel video.

View photos from the event.

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SHLB Grow2Gig+ Launch

July 13, 2016

On July 13, 2016, the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition launched the much anticipated release of its Grow2Gig+ Action Plan. Connecting Anchor Institutions: Broadband Action Plan was developed by SHLB to provide ideas and actionable policy recommendations to address the broadband needs of schools, libraries, health facilities, and all other anchor institutions. At the launch, key policy-makers and officials spoke about the Grow2Gig+ Action Plan at a press conference followed by a panel discussion on the ten policy papers. 


View the full event.

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SHLB Sixth Annual Conference  

SHLB Sixth Annual Conference

April 27-29, 2016


Each year the SHLB Coalition’s Annual Conference attracts 200-300 people from across the country to discuss key broadband policy issues that are important to anchor institutions and their communities. The Sixth Annual Conference focused on E-rate Compliance, Lifeline Reform, Telehealth, and Fiber Build Out, as well as other policies and funding programs that impact broadband deployment for anchor institutions and their communities. Senator Angus King and Valerie Truesdale (the Chief Technology, Personalized Learning & Engagement Officer for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools) gave plenary addresses. Prominent policy makers from the FCC and NTIA discussed broadband deployment and adoption issues. Representatives of the Broadband Opportunities Council (BOC) participated on a lunch panel.View photos from the event.


View highlight reel video.

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AnchorNETs Conference

November 16-17, 2015

Developed by the SHLB Coalition in collaboration with Interwork Media, AnchorNETS was an educational and networking event designed to bring policy, funding, partnership and other key information to the public leadership from schools, libraries, health facilities – and the private sector as well, including network operators, communications carriers, technology vendors and professional services firms. View the event website.
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The National Broadband Plan After Five Years: An Anchor Institution Progress Report

March 17, 2015

The Alliance for Excellent Education, SHLB Coalition, New America, and Benton Foundation on the five-year anniversary of the National Broadband Plan – reviewed the Community Anchor Institution broadband goals, accomplishments and unfinished work.  At the mid-point of the timeline for achieving the National Broadband Plan’s Goal #4 (calling for Anchor Institutions to have 1 Gigabit per second broadband by the year 2020), the United States has made great strides but has much more work to do. High-quality broadband is vitally important for schools, libraries, health providers and other anchor institutions to provide digital learning opportunities, tele-medicine services and other essential on-line services to their communities. The federal government and many state governments have taken significant steps to improve the broadband capabilities of the nation’s schools, libraries and health care providers, but we will need to re-double efforts to reach this goal by the year 2020, particularly in rural areas. View the event website.
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SHLB State of Broadband  

The Kansas Statewide Broadband Conference 

January 20-21, 2015

Capitalizing upon the momentum created by innovative Kansas communities, the Kansas Department of Commerce, in partnership with the SHLB Coalition, brought together community leaders from across the state to examine the current and future state of broadband connectivity. Critical stakeholders from schools, libraries, health-care providers, businesses, government, broadband Internet Service Providers, and many others convened to develop actionable strategies to accelerate access and utilization of broadband technologies. Video of plenary and breakout sessions available now.
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The 2014 Michigan Broadband Conference

October 29, 2014

Broadband and technology are critical to positioning Michigan at the forefront of the digital economy.  SHLB with Connect Michigan, a non-profit organization tasked with facilitating the expansion of broadband access, adoption, and use throughout the state, hosted a broadband and technology conference.The 2014 Michigan Broadband Conference brought together community leaders from education, libraries, economic development, local government, healthcare, and technology sectors to share and learn cross-collaborative best practices for expanding broadband and technology access, adoption, and use and move Michigan to the forefront of the digital economy.
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School/Library Partnerships and Other Anchor Institution Broadband Strategies

October 2, 2014

The Fall Symposium explored ​school-library ​broadband ​partnerships, ​the ​Connect ​America ​Fund ​reforms, ​and ​other ​strategies ​to ​promote ​broadband ​deployment ​for ​community ​anchor ​institutions. ​ ​Policy-makers, ​broadband ​providers ​and ​school/library ​representatives​ discussed ​the ​implications ​of ​the ​FCC's ​most ​recent ​E-rate ​order ​and ​the ​additional ​changes ​to ​the ​E-rate ​Program. View the full agenda.
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2014 SHLB Annual Conference 

May 7-9, 2014

The 2014 Annual Conference had a great variety of speakers from the public, private and non-profit sectors. Speakers included: Senator Ed Markey; Louis Fox, CEO, CENIC; Jon Wilkins, Managing Director, FCC; Jon Chambers, FCC Office of Strategic Plans and Policy; Matt Quinn, FCC Director of Healthcare Initiatives; Dr. Dallas Dance, Superintendent, Baltimore County Public Schools; Tom Power, Deputy Director, White House OSTP; Richard Culatta, U.S. Dept of Education; Laura Breeden, NTIA; Erica Swanson, Google; Michael Daum, Microsoft; Jeff Campbell, Cisco and ; Blair Levin, Executive Director, Gig.U. View the Program.
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Schools and Libraries Broadband Reform Seminar

October 1, 2013

The SHLB Coalition held its first Fall Seminar in 2013.  People gathered to learn and discuss the important issue of high capacity bandwidth for schools and libraries. View the agenda
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2013 SHLB Annual Conference

May 1-3, 2013

"Getting to Gigabit: The Future of Broadband for Anchor Institutions and Their Communities" was a successful SHLB Conference. It was attended by BTOP and BIP grantees, broadband providers, and policy-makers seeking to learn what they can do to promote economic growth and social inclusion through anchor institutions. View the agenda.