FCC’s NBP architect on the way out


There was never any secret about the fact that Blair Levin considered being Executive Director of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative at the Federal Communications omission as a temporary gig. Now it’s official – he’s out of the FCC 5/7/10 and on his way to a fellowship at the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program.
“I am pleased to join the Aspen Institute team,” Levin said. “There I can reflect on the impact of the National Broadband Plan and particularly its application to the international arena.”

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski commented on Levin’s tenure at the FCC, saying, “Blair has been masterful in providing wisdom to the Commission about how technology and market trends interact with the nation’s public policy agenda. His leadership in raising the quality of work and thought throughout the Commission is beyond measure and I am sure he will continue to make similar contributions for the country while he is at the Aspen Institute.”

Commissioner Michael Copps added, “In the wake of the announcement that Blair Levin will leave the Commission, I want to express my personal thanks for the great public service he has provided the American people…In developing the Plan, Blair managed a process that was more comprehensive, open, public and transparent than any that I have encountered at the Commission. He cast a wide net to make the process inclusive, and searched out a myriad of traditional and non-traditional stakeholders that deserved to be heard. I commend him for this. The Commission will miss his skills and expertise. But from his perch at the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, I am confident that Blair will continue to contribute very measurably on the issues to which he has devoted so much time and energy. I look forward to his wise counsel and wish him and his family all good things on the road ahead.”

RBR-TVBR observation: If this is not a win for television broadcasters, it certainly isn’t a loss. It has seemed that Levin was one of if not the primary FCC executive to cast a voracious eye on television’s portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The situation will not probably change much in his absence – but it certainly is not as if television is losing one of its primary defenders.