January 16, 2022

Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition Releases New Fiber Cost Estimate and a Strategy to Connect Rural Communities

From SHLB:

2018-02-15_11-17-16In an effort to address the rural digital divide, the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition today is releasing  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.

Building off of these findings, SHLB also puts forth “To and Through Anchors: A Strategy to Connect Rural Communities.” This strategy proposes to solve the rural broadband gap by leveraging the high-capacity broadband deployed to anchor institutions and extending service to surrounding business and residential consumers using a blend of wired and wireless technologies.


“Libraries are currently using TV Whitespace to inexpensively expand availability for the tens of millions of users who depend on them for internet access,” said Don Means, Director, Gigabit Libraries Network (GLN). “These same resilient TVWS networks, in partnerships that link with schools and other anchor institutions as second responders, serve as backup communications systems against disasters.”

“Fiber-connected schools, libraries and health clinics across the heartland can serve as anchors to deploy TV white space connections to remote communities where laying cable is simply not an option,” said Richard Cullen, Executive Director of Connect Americans Now. “We are proud to stand with SHLB on the critical mission of expanding broadband access throughout rural America and look forward to our continued work together.”

Read the Complete Report Launch Announcement


Direct to Cost Estimate
4 pages; PDF.

Direct to Overview: To and Through Anchors: A Strategy to Connect Rural Communities
2 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.