Schools Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition
The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition released a new cost study and broadband strategy focused on rural broadband deployment. The cost study estimates that it will cost less than $20 billion to connect all unserved schools, libraries, health providers, community colleges, and other anchor institutions (outside of Alaska) to fiber.
The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition asked the Federal Communications Commission to expedite affordable broadband solutions for unconnected Americans. The novel coronavirus is driving schools to online learning and increasing healthcare providers’ reliance on telehealth solutions.
Congress is on the verge of passing legislation to improve broadband maps. Unfortunately, tucked inside the “Broadband DATA Act” is a provision that could unintentionally jeopardize broadband funding for schools, libraries, and healthcare providers.
In a letter, the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition applauded Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai for promoting fiber broadband deployment to schools and libraries through the E-rate program. “Competitive bidding has been a fundamental principle of the E-rate program since its inception,” said John Windhausen, executive director of the SHLB Coalition.
Kansas City prides itself on being a national leader for digital equity. Becoming the first Google Fiber city in 2011 launched KC into the spotlight as it became America’s first gigabit metropolis.