Originally published: July 13, 2010
Last updated: November 29, 2010 - 11:42am
In comments to the Federal Communications Commission, the Schools Health and Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition proposes one simple but fundamentally important idea: recipients of High-Cost /Connect America Fund support (whomever they may be and however the amount of funding is determined) should be required to ensure that community anchor institutions in the region have sufficient and affordable high-capacity broadband capabilities available to them as a condition of receiving that support.
High-capacity broadband is vitally important for anchor institutions to serve the needs of their communities. Anchor institutions - the schools, health care providers, libraries and others have unique broadband needs that are very different from the needs of residential consumers, yet equally important. If these institutions do not have sufficient affordable broadband capacity, then broadband providers who receive High-Cost/Connect America Fund support (which is funded by the general public) should be obligated for the public good to use a portion of their funding to deploy affordable high-capacity broadband facilities to meet the needs of these anchor institutions. Furthermore, these institutions should have the option of connecting to non-profit or for-profit research and education networks, municipalities and other broadband providers in addition to the traditional commercial providers.
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