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4 Your Mission is a blog from Mobile Beacon that helps you – a nonprofit – achieve your mission by bringing you up-to-date info and tips that you can really use.
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Tech Term of the Week


Electronic Resources Management (ERM)

Systems developed to assist librarians in the control of licensed third-party resources published electronically (databases, e-books, e-journals, etc.), including license management, renewal, legal use, access management, and collection development.

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Together, we kept more than 260,000 people online – and counting!

It is amazing what a group of committed and passionate people can do! At the end of last year, Mobile Beacon finally had the ability to transition our community of school, library, and nonprofit users to Sprint’s 4G LTE network. With only 90 days before Sprint’s WiMAX network was permanently shut down, our small staff of nine began the huge task of ensuring every single client who relied on us for Internet access had the opportunity to make the move to LTE.



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Spring Forward: National Digital Inclusion Efforts on the Rise

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Having worked on digital inclusion programs for the last six years, it’s hard to contain our excitement about the huge leaps forward that have occurred in the first three months of 2016. It seems like we’re finally beyond the “It’s 20XX, doesn’t everyone have access to technology?” and “Isn’t Internet access like cable, great to have, but not necessary?” discussions. We’re now on to large-scale, national programs that are making real progress to close the digital divide in America.

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5,000+ Low Income Twin Cities Residents Now Online with LTE!

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Last week, on the eve of the WiMAX shutdown in the Twin Cities, Mobile Beacon was on site in St. Paul with our partner, PCs for People (PCP), to help remaining low-income Twin Cities residents get online with our new 4G LTE service. It was a busy day right from the start. Before PCs for People’s doors opened at 10 am, 22 people were lined up outside. Some had driven more than 40 miles to get there, others had arrived two hours early to be among the first to get their new devices.

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Court Grants Motion by Nonprofits and Sprint to Extend WIMAX Service Through March

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(BOSTON) January 29, 2016 – A Massachusetts state court today granted a joint motion to extend a preliminary injunction that temporarily saved Internet access to 1,820 nonprofits, 429 schools, and 61 libraries across the country. The motion was made by six nonprofit organizations who provide broadband access to more than 300,000 vulnerable Americans and Sprint Spectrum LP, though the telecommunications company remains a defendant in ongoing legal action with the nonprofits.

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Turning the Corner to a New Year

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This holiday season, we’re feeling extremely grateful for the support of our customers and excited for the new year to come. It was a particularly challenging year with many unknowns about the future state of our service with Sprint. With your help, a court order, and a lot of tenacity from the Mobile Beacon team, we are moving forward getting all of our current customers transitioned to Sprint’s LTE service.

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Stop Sprint’s Shenanigans. Join Us Friday in DC.

The clock on the 90-day injunction stopping Sprint from cutting Internet access is ticking. And even with the courts stepping in to stop Sprint from shutting off the Internet, Sprint is dragging its heels and filing appeal after appeal.

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Sen. Bob Casey asks FCC to Monitor Shutdown

Acknowledging “it is critical that the Internet continues to be an affordable tool for those working toward a better life,” Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) urged FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler to closely monitor Sprint’s WiMAX shutdown in a letter dated Nov. 20, 2015.

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Sprint Loses in Court Again

This just in: In an another attempt to subvert the orders of Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders, Sprint asked an appeals court to suspend her decision and force the nonprofits that run Mobile Citizen and Mobile Beacon to pony up a $65 million bond despite her ruling that this was excessive and unnecessary. But just like Judge Sanders did, the appellate court firmly rejected Sprint’s requests, dismissing them before we even submitted our papers.

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Philadelphians Protest Sprint’s Plan to Cut Internet to 300,000 Vulnerable Americans

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(PHILADELPHIA) November 17, 2015 – A group of Philadelphia residents took to the streets today in front of a downtown Sprint store to protest the Sprint Corporation’s continued effort to shut off broadband access to more than 300,000 vulnerable Americans – including at least 10,000 Philadelphians.

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Tuesday: Philadelphians Protest Sprint Plan to Cut Internet to 300,000

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(PHILADELPHIA) November 16, 2015
– A group of Philadelphia residents will protest the Sprint Corporation’s continued effort to shut off broadband access to more than 300,000 vulnerable Americans, including at least 10,000 Philadelphians, with a protest Tuesday at noon in front of a downtown Sprint store.

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Court Releases Full Decision on Injunction

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November 9, 2015

A Massachusetts state court today released a full decision explaining the preliminary injunction it issued last Thursday stopping Sprint from shutting down its WiMax network on Nov. 6.

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Sprint WiMax Shutdown Suspended: Mobile Beacon Wins Preliminary Injunction

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Great news, we have succeeded in stopping the shutdown!

Today, a Massachusetts state court granted a preliminary injunction stopping Sprint from its plan to shut off broadband access for more than 300,000 mostly low-income Americans this Friday.

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The Right Time for a National Digital Inclusion Alliance

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Guest article by Angela Siefer
Director at National Digital Inclusion Alliance

I am so happy to announce the creation of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance.

There is a clear need among non-profit organizations, libraries, schools and other community institutions for a national broadband adoption advocacy organization. Three federal agencies (National Telecommunications and Information Administration [NTIA], Housing and Urban Development [HUD], Federal Communications Commission [FCC]), plus the White House, are focusing significant attention and possibly significant resources on broadband adoption. How significant the resources will be could depend upon strong advocacy by broadband adoption practitioners in non-profit organizations and libraries.

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SHLB Wrap-up: Ideas Exchanged, Pilot Libraries Awarded

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We’re completely energized from the recent Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB) 2015 Annual Conference! SHLB is made up of like-minded nonprofit and commercial organizations that support open, affordable, high-capacity broadband connections for community anchor institutions (CAIs) and their surrounding communities.

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Mobile Beacon helps give immigrant adult learners the tools they need to succeed.

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Article by Larry Britt of RIFLI
Computer Science & Social Media Coordinator

The RI Family Literacy Initiative (RIFLI) is a 16-year-old-adult education agency and we primarily serve immigrants – approximately 250 a year.  We offer an educational continuum from beginner English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to Career and College Transitions preparation.  We partner with many libraries, work sites and community agencies where we offer our classes.  Over the past year we’ve advanced technology initiatives that we hope will build a cohesive, integrated solution to address our students’ digital literacy needs.

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