Community Anchor Institutions

Institutions that are rooted in their local communities by mission, invested capital, or relationships to customers, employees, and vendors.

The war against the press comes to the local newsroom

[Commentary] It is heartbreaking, but necessary, to recognize that the openness that defines local news likely carries too high a risk; local newsrooms, at least for now, may have no choice but to fortify themselves. Since Donald Trump chose, in the very earliest days of his presidential campaign, to make attacks on a free press in the United States one of his signature themes, many of us have thought it inevitable that his dangerous rhetoric would one day be a trigger for tragedy.

Simmons College, Open Technology Institute, Internet2 Awarded Grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services

Simmons College’s School of Library & Information Science, along with New America's Open Technology Institute and Internet2, have received an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) FY2018 National Leadership Grants for Libraries award. Their 24-month research project, “Measuring Library Broadband Networks for the National Digital Platform” will examine how advanced broadband measurement capabilities can support the infrastructure and services needed to respond to the digital demands of public library users across the US. The project will gather quantitative and qualitative data

Sourcing Innovation from a ‘Rural Journalism Lab’

[Commentary] Building on our previous research through the Tow Center and a workshop we held in August 2017 on strengthening storytelling networks and civic engagement in this region of Kentucky, over the past few months we embarked on a series of experiments with the Bratcher brothers in what we’ve coined a “rural journalism innovation lab.”  Our work explored a range of approaches—around promotion, news products, and community engagement—aimed at driving residents into a deeper relationship with The Ohio County Monitor and supporting the outlet’s move to a $5-monthly subscription model, s

What does Microsoft want with these rural teens?

Microsoft is targeting public school buses as a part of its initiative to provide rural broadband in 12 states between now and 2022. But as of right now, it’s unclear how the data of these children would be protected. Microsoft declined to comment on the record. The big question is what Microsoft will get in return for providing this broadband access, especially considering the precedent for private companies grabbing, tracking, and storing user data in exchange for public Wi-Fi. 

Gothamist Lives, Thanks to a Boost from Public Radio

After billionaire Joe Ricketts announced the shuttering of local news organizations Gothamist and DNAInfo last fall, readers across the country mourned the loss of the beloved sites, and worried about the vulnerability of journalism in the digital age. Now, a consortium of public radio stations, including WNYC in New York, WAMU in Washington DC, and KPCC in Southern California, has banded together to bring some of those sites back from the dead.The three stations are acquiring the assets of Gothamist and some of its associated sites, including LAist, DCist, and DNAInfo.

Trump budget would devastate America’s public television stations

[Commentary]  President Donald Trump’s proposal to eliminate federal funding for public television rests on the erroneous assumption that public television can rely exclusively on private support. Without the federal investment, this universal service would be impossible. 

To and Through Anchors: A Strategy to Connect Rural Communities

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.


Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition

Thu, 02/15/2018 - 17:00

The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition will release a holistic broadband strategy to close the digital divide in rural markets. Particularly timely following the release of the Trump Administration’s infrastructure proposal earlier today, SHLB’s rural broadband strategy will focus on deploying high-capacity broadband “to and through anchors” to the surrounding community through wireless and wireline technologies.

With internet neutrality rules changing, door opens for providers to raise rates

The Federal Communications Commission's network neutrality decision could affect everyone using the internet and the public’s access to knowledge, education and connection. “The libraries, schools, the public...all could feel this in the same way,” said Doug Harkness, technology manager at the James V. Brown Library in Williamsport (PA).  For the public, that could mean paying higher fees for their everyday internet activities separately.

Critics shame Silicon Valley firms over addictive technologies

Tech industry critics spent a daylong event on Capitol Hill Feb 7 airing concerns that Facebook, Google, Apple and other major companies are peddling addictive products that damage young minds. Critics are seeking some sort of policy to address the problem. “Should there be some common sense regulation of the tech industry? Obviously,” said Jim Steyer, the head of Common Sense, the group that organized the conference. Franklin Foer, the author of a recent book critical of tech powerhouses, said that a “sense of shame” would shift norms in the industry.