SHLB Coalition Supports Launch of Senate Broadband Caucus July 12, 2016
For Immediate Release: July 12, 2016
WASHINGTON DC (July 12, 2016) - The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition today announced its support of the bi-partisan Senate Broadband Caucus founded by Senators Capito, King, Klobuchar, Boozman, and Heitkamp.
The following statement can be attributed to John Windhausen, Executive Director of SHLB:
“Digital equity is not a partisan issue. Instead, it takes leaders from both sides reaching across the aisle to solve the digital divide that has been afflicting unserved and underserved Americans for so long. The SHLB Coalition is therefore pleased with the launch of the Senate Broadband Caucus, as it seeks to unite Senators, staff, and industry leaders to overcome party lines and spur progress.
“As the Senate Broadband Caucus moves forward, it is important to recognize anchor institutions’ crucial role in the broadband ecosystem. Broadband policy sometimes focuses on business and residential users without recognizing anchor institutions’ broadband needs. Schools, libraries, health providers, public housing, public media and anchor institutions have the power to connect entire communities, especially in rural areas where service providers may find it difficult to build to every home. Access to open, affordable, high-capacity broadband at anchor institutions is necessary for Americans to improve digital learning, find a job, access telehealth services, and be an engaged 21st century citizen. Strengthening our telecommunications infrastructure is therefore not just a matter of getting people online – it is a matter of strengthening our education, economy, public health, and even our democracy.
“As outlined in SHLB’s Broadband Action Plan (to be released tomorrow), coordination and partnership is key to improving broadband connectivity. We welcome the efforts of the Senate Broadband Caucus to work together, share ideas and promote collaboration to advance broadband deployment and adoption for all anchor institutions across the country.”
To learn more about broadband policy specific to community anchor institutions, PLEASE JOIN US tomorrow on July 13, 2016, as the SHLB Coalition will highlight our specific broadband policy recommendations when we release “Connecting Anchor Institutions: A Broadband Action Plan,” a comprehensive set of ten policy papers that provides recommendations for government leaders at the federal, state, and local levels.
The Broadband Action Plan is the first installment of SHLB’s larger Grow2Gig+ Campaign that aims to make gigabit speeds for anchor institutions a national priority. For more information, visit www.shlb.org/grow2gig.