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Internet2 Releases White paper on the Impact of Anchor Institutions on a Community's Broadband Connections

Jun 22, 2016, by John Morabito
Tags: Executive Insights, Policy Issues, External Relations

Photo of John Morabito, Vice President, External Relations, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary Internet2 has written a white paper on "The Impact of Anchor Institutions on a Community's Broadband Connections" as part of its support for the U.S. State Department's Global Connect Initiative.  The paper provides insight on Internet2’s United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) model and shows how connecting Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) to advanced broadband connections can transform entire communities.

Currently, U.S. UCAN and its regional network partners provide access to advanced broadband connections to more than 93,000 CAIs.  By connecting CAIs, thousands of individuals have a means of getting connected to the Internet that they otherwise may not be able to access on their own.  Providing high-capacity bandwidth to CAIs, namely educational institutions and libraries, allows these institutions to become a catalyst for their communities’ digital literacy, broadband deployment, and adoption.  The National Telecommunications and Information Administration recognized this when it developed the grant guidelines for the Broadband Technology and Opportunities Program, as part of the broadband-focused provisions of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009.

CAIs play a central role in their communities and can connect many citizens to the Internet through one broadband connection, which can have “network effects” in terms of broadband deployment, availability, adoption, and use.  One fiber drop to a university, a high school, or library, can impact potentially thousands of citizens versus a single fiber drop to a residential home.

Internet2 recommends that other countries looking to increase digital inclusion in their communities should consider the example set by the research and education community in supporting high-capacity bandwidth connectivity to CAIs.  For more information, please contact me at morabito@internet2.edu