SHLB Congratulates Senate on Passage of Monumental Infrastructure Bill August 10, 2021
For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C. (August 10, 2021) - Today the U.S. Senate voted to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a $1 trillion package that includes $65 billion for broadband.
John Windhausen Jr., executive director of the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, made the following statement:
“The SHLB Coalition congratulates the U.S. Senate for its passage of this historic infrastructure legislation, which includes $65 billion for broadband deployment, training, and adoption. The bill properly recognizes that community anchor institutions require gigabit-capacity connectivity in both the broadband deployment and middle-mile provisions. The bill’s inclusion of the Digital Equity Act and extension of the Emergency Broadband Benefit subsidy will be instrumental to equipping every person in the country with the tools and skills to participate in society – a core part of the mission for anchor institutions like schools and libraries.
“However, we remain concerned that the $42.45 billion Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program places anchor institutions third in priority. Deploying broadband to and through anchors to surrounding residents is an approach that gets communities more value for their dollar.”
The SHLB Coalition recently joined the American Library Association, the Consortium for School Networking, and the State Educational Technology Directors Association to suggest language that congressional leadership could adopt to remove the third-place prioritization of community anchor institutions.
The SHLB Coalition is a nonprofit, 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, D.C. and has a diverse membership of commercial and non-commercial organizations from across the United States. To learn more, visit www.shlb.org.