School-Library Partnerships and Other Strategies for Anchor Institution Broadband Deployment

Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition
Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


9:00 – 9:10 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

John Windhausen, Executive Director, SHLB Coalition
Don Means, Chairman of the Board, SHLB Coalition

9:10 – 9:40 a.m. Lev Gonick, CEO, OneCommunity

OneCommunity recently announced its "Big Gig" Challenge - an exciting grant opportunity for municipalities to build community-wide fiber networks connecting community anchor institutions, government facilities and business districts. OneCommunity is seeking to attract and develop the most innovative and entrepreneurial broadband services for the 21st Century. Municipalities must submit applications to OneCommunity no later than midnight October 3, 2014. Lev Gonick will provide an overview of this fabulous funding opportunity and discuss how other organizations across the country can build on this model.

9:40 – 10:05 a.m. Merle Gruesser, Indiana State Director, Education Networks of America (ENA), and Wendy Knapp, Indiana State Library

Indiana schools and libraries have historically worked together to support community needs and shared outcomes. This presentation will discuss high-level state collaborations as well as local school/library collaborations where broadband infrastructure and community resources are shared to support the needs of libraries and schools. This presentation will include insight into legislative efforts to help policy-makers understand the value of school/library collaboration.

10:05 – 10:20 a.m. Break

10:20 – 10:50 a.m. Doug Kinkoph, Associate Administrator, NTIA, and Sujeet Rao, Special Assistant, U.S. Department of Education

Moderator: TBD

These two key officials in the Obama Administration will discuss the Administration’s policies to promote broadband for schools, libraries and other community anchor institutions. Mr. Kinkoph will discuss the success of the BTOP program in connecting over 20,000 anchor institutions, and NTIA’s most recent efforts to promote community broadband. Mr. Rao will give an update on President Obama’s “ConnectED” Initiative.

10:50 – 11:10 a.m. Annie Norman, State Librarian of Delaware

One of the leaders in the field of libraries and technology, Annie Norman recently completed a very successful BTOP project in which the libraries worked closely with other state agencies to provide job training and placement services. Dr. Norman is also implementing an important trial of “White Spaces” wireless Internet access to serve the community. She is focused on compiling data to demonstrate effective decision-making, some of which she will share in her presentation.

11:10 – 11:30 a.m. John Harrington, CEO, Funds for Learning

Funds for Learning is one of the premier firms in the country providing research, analysis and consulting services around the Federal E-rate program. Mr. Harrington will provide examples of some of the best strategies he and his firm have encountered to deploy high-capacity broadband for schools and libraries through the E-rate program, and his views of the FCC’s recent E-rate Modernization Order, particularly regarding Internal Connections (now called Category 2).

11:30 – 11:50 TBD

11:50 – 12:30 p.m. Lunch

12:30 – 12:50 p.m. Elaine Williams, CEO, ConnectED Consulting Services LLC

In Illinois, Ms. Williams is currently developing models for two school district/library consortia pilots for E-rate funding year 2015. The first focuses on increasing program participation by eligible libraries and schools in more rural areas of northern Illinois. The second consortium focuses on school districts and libraries in urban and rural areas in southern Illinois.

12:50 – 1:10 p.m. Tony Wilhelm, VP-External Affairs, Affiniti Networks

Building on his past stewardship of the BTOP program, Mr. Wilhelm has recently joined Affiniti Networks, one of the leading firms in the country focused on rural broadband build-out. Mr. Wilhelm will talk about innovative public-private partnerships in which Affiniti developed broadband solutions for libraries in very rural communities across the country. For example, Affiniti has extended the reach of some BTOP-funded projects and aggregated resources through innovative consortia.

1:10 – 1:40 p.m. Patrick Halley, Associate Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau, FCC, and Lisa Hone, Deputy Chief, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, FCC

Moderator: TBD

Two of the key staff involved in drafting the E-rate orders and working with the variety of E-rate stakeholders will share their perspective on the July 2014 E-rate Modernization Order, activities since the order was adopted, and next steps in the E-rate modernization process.

1:40 – 2:00 p.m. Break

2:00 – 2:30 p.m. Joseph Sandri, Senior VP, FiberTower, and Tom Keller, CEO, Nexterra

FiberTower will describe how it provides local broadband operators with a variety of high-quality equipment and spectrum tools to build broadband to schools and libraries throughout a metropolitan area. Nexterra will explain how it selected some of these tools to offer a suite of services throughout the Baltimore area, including a case study deployment to the Digital Harbor Foundation, a magnet school in Baltimore.