Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

National Broadband Plan Guru Blair Levin Speaks! (Plus the Press Release and Exec Summary)

While trolling around Washington, D.C., this week, BoomTown dropped in on Blair Levin, executive director of the National Broadband Plan, the opus just released by the Federal Communications Commission.

Aimed primarily at boosting the proliferation of high-speed access across the United States, the plan has been shepherded by the telecommunications analyst and former FCC staffer.

We talked about the main themes of the plan, which will require action by the FCC, the White House and Congress to be fully effective.

While Levin will move on soon, now that his job is done, he had several observations about the potential bottlenecks and more.

As in: Will broadcasters resist the spectrum suggestions? Will there be money to fund a digital literacy corps? And most of all, how can the cost of broadband be lowered?

The Yale-trained lawyer would know. As chief of staff to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt from late 1993 to late 1997, he oversaw, according to his bio, “the implementation of the historic 1996 Telecommunications Reform Act, the first spectrum auctions, the development of digital television standards, and the Commission’s Internet initiative.”

Here’s the video of my interview with Levin, as well as the press release and executive summary of the plan, below (you can find out more here on the FCC site about it):


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik