Five Reasons Why Voqal Plans to Attend the SHLB Conference and You Should Too

The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition is one of the leading advocates for expanding broadband to anchor institutions. It is one of the reasons why Voqal and Mobile Citizen are members of SHLB and find so much value in the organization.

October 16-18, SHLB will be hosting its ninth annual conference, AnchorNets in Crystal City, Virginia. There are many reasons to attend what promises to be the best SHLB conference yet, but here are five to get you started.

1. The Broadband for All in the 2020s Panel

This panel features a star-studded lineup of policy experts, including American Library Association Deputy Director of Public Policy Lara Clark, Benton Foundation Senior Fellow Jonathan Sallet and Luis Wong from the California K-12 High Speed Network, an organization that has experience deploying Educational Broadband Service (EBS) spectrum to extend broadband to the community. In a role reversal, former FCC Commissioner and Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn will be serving as the moderator. You won’t want to miss it!

2. FCC Commissioner Starks Keynote: The Digital Divide Then and Now

FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks will be delivering one of the most important keynote addresses at AnchorNets. As a bonus, Commissioner Starks will be interviewed by broadband expert and long-time advocate Larry Irving. This panel will focus on how it has been 20 years since the term “digital divide” was first coined and examine how we might make progress in closing the divide in the coming years.

3. Spectrum Workshop Part 1: How Will the Sprint/T-Mobile Merger and EBS Licensing Sync Up?

As an (EBS) licensee, Voqal is particularly interested in what the Sprint/T-Mobile merger might mean for EBS licensees. Attendees will be able to hear directly from Sprint Senior Counsel Jim Goldstein about this development. In addition, Mobile Beacon Executive Director Katherine Messier and MuralNet CEO Mariel Triggs will examine what the recent FCC EBS rulemaking and the merger might mean for educators and Tribal Nations going forward.

4. Schools and Digital Equity Workshop Part 2: Real World Homework Gap Solutions

This panel promises to be a practical look at ways communities can help close the most troubling part of the digital divide – the Homework Gap. An estimated 7 to 12 million students lack broadband access at home, putting them at a significant disadvantage relative to their peers. This panel features Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) Angela Siefer, as well as the Consortium on School Networking (CoSN) Digital Equity Project Director Beth Holland, among others, sharing their thoughts about how to solve this challenge.

5. Jam Session and Networking Breaks

If we haven’t convinced you of the value of this conference with reasons one through four, don’t worry. We saved the best reason for last. The greatest benefit of the conference is networking and brainstorming with some of the best minds in broadband policy. SHLB’s AnchorNets provides ample opportunities to share ideas and meet those working to make all of America and its anchor institutions connected.

For more information on AnchorNets, including the full agenda, click here.