FCC broadband czar defends national plan
Blair Levin says unreleased broadband plan will meet all Congressional mandates
Computerworld - The chief author of the National Broadband Plan yesterday defended it against recent attacks that it is overly broad, ambitious and unfeasible, and said he is confident the final version set for release March 17 will meet the enormous mandate set by Congress.
"The priorities set [by Congress for the plan] were broad in scope," said Blair Levin, executive director of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative created last year by the Federal Communications Commission. "It may be the broadest mandate any agency has ever gotten from Congress."
While the plan is not finalized, various specific pieces of it have been released by FCC officials in recent days, including one that asks TV broadcasters to voluntarily provide unused airwaves, or spectrum, for wireless broadband Internet uses. The broadcasters would share any profits gained from broadband use on the donated airwaves.
The plan also calls on Congress to spend up to $16 billion to create radio interoperability among emergency responders and suggests that another $9 billion be spent to extend fast Internet connections to rural areas.
In a wide-ranging telephone interview with Computerworld, Levin agreed that the plan is inherently broad, including three U.S. priorities for broadband deployment: bolstering the economic infrastructure of the country; spurring broadband innovation and investment; and bringing access to broadband technology to everyone in the U.S., including the 92 million people in the country now without access to high performance Internet connections.
"Most of the publicity about the plan has focused on getting more spectrum but a major concern of ours is using mobile applications for public safety, healthcare ... and general innovation in the economy," he said.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 directed the FCC to create the broadband plan. The Act required that the plan meet lofty goals of offering a way for all Americans to have access to broadband, and including strategies for using broadband services to advance national priorities such as energy independence and efficiency, education, job creation and entrepreneurial activity.
US. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., authored the Recovery Act's broadband plan and has been the principal sponsor of the Internet Freedom Preservation Act legislation still before Congress.
Markey issued a statement in mid-February saying he was "heartened" after getting a preview of the Broadband Plan.
Levin, a chief of staff of the FCC in the mid-1990s, was named broadband czar in mid-2009 following the installation of Julius Genachowski as FCC chairman. The National Broadband Plan is already being called Genachowski's National Broadband Plan. Input from the five FCC commissioners has been solicited, though approval of it does not require their vote.
- AT&T vs. Verizon: LTE showdown in the Big Apple
- FCC chairman: U.S. needs to do better in broadband
- FCC moves to switch phone subsidy to broadband
- Emergency network still needed, FCC public safety chief says
- FCC set to take first steps toward national broadband plan
- Public safety fee on wireless users a challenge for industry
- National broadband plan: What's in it for businesses?
- FCC should expect opposition to broadband plan, official says
- Public safety fee for broadband will be less than $1 a month
- Broadband plan gives FCC wider cybersecurity role
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Top 8 Communications Tools for Small Businesses Powerful technology is available to help your small business improve its communications with customers, employees and suppliers. View this free On-Demand Webcast produced...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the... All Broadband White Papers | Webcasts