SHLB Publishes New Broadband Action Plan - Utah Broadband Outreach Center: The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB) released a Broadband Action Plan this week to kick off their Grow2Gig Campaign. The plan was developed by SHLB as a resource to generate ideas and provide policy recommendations for community leaders. Kelleigh Cole, Director of the Broadband Outreach Center, contributed to the Action plan with a chapter titled “Broadband Needs Assessment and Planning for Community Anchor Institutions.” The SHLB Coalition advocates for broadband access through the targeted use of Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs).
CAIs include schools, libraries, healthcare providers, community centers, public housing, public education institutions, and other easy to access community meeting places that can serve as a centralized location for high-speed Internet use. CAIs can help provide affordable broadband access to a community, and they also act as anchor tenant by establishing critical middle mile connections to residential areas. Broadband Director Kelleigh Cole was asked to be a contributor to the Broadband Action Plan due to her years of experience as a state broadband leader, in addition to her perspective on Utah’s collaborative and highly successful approach to broadband planning. Her chapter kicks off the Action Plan, and discusses the advantages to creating broadband needs assessments that drive targeted infrastructure investment where it is most needed.
This is a desultory, pathetic rehash of the same tired old, parochial approaches of the past decade that create an illusion of action and focus on the low hanging fruit of anchor institutions and running silly "broadband needs assessments." (Who doesn't need robust Internet service in 2016?)
They fail to meaningfully support the badly needed modernization of the nation's legacy telecommunications infrastructure and the construction of fiber optic telecommunications infrastructure to serve all American homes and businesses. Moreover, once the anchor institutions are connected, the nearby residences are typically forgotten and victory declared.