ELI Endorses the SHLB Coalition Policy RoadMap for Community Anchor Institutions

The SHLB Coalition aims to ensure that no student, patient, or library patron suffers from inadequate internet connectivity and to promote investment in high-quality broadband for Community Anchor Institutions like libraries - and especially their communities.

The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition has recently released its 2023 Policy Roadmap to promote investment in high-quality broadband for community anchor institutions (CAIs) and their communities. The roadmap highlights ways to close the digital divide and ensure fair and equal access to affordable, high-speed broadband. These include increasing funding for the E-rate program and expanding the FCC's Lifeline program to include broadband services, promoting public-private partnerships, streamlining regulations and permitting processes, and prioritizing underserved areas.

The SHLB Coalition's work is based on the principle that deploying broadband to and through anchor institutions will ensure that no student, patient, or library patron suffers from inadequate internet connectivity. The coalition will pursue several policy priorities in 2023, including working with state broadband offices and federal agencies to ensure anchor institutions are eligible for broadband upgrades, supporting digital equity efforts, strengthening the E-rate program, promoting improvements in the FCC's Rural Health Care Program, reinforcing research and education networks' role in promoting innovation and future-proof networking, promoting inclusion of CAIs in broadband mapping, enforcing pole attachment and replacement policies, increasing competition through licensed, shared, and unlicensed spectrum, and modernizing and strengthening the Universal Service Fund (USF).

The EveryLibrary Institute, a proud member of the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition, fully supports the 2023 Policy Roadmap released by SHLB. As an organization committed to supporting libraries and advocating for library funding, EveryLibrary recognizes the critical role that high-quality broadband plays in ensuring access to information, education, and other essential services. We will collaborate with other SHLB members to promote the policy priorities outlined in the roadmap, including improving the E-rate Program, promoting digital equity, and reinforcing the role of research and education networks. Through our collective efforts, we are confident that we can help close the digital divide and ensure that all Americans have access to the resources they need to thrive.