Agency’s Plan To Ensure Affordable Broadband For All Americans Takes Center Stage At Independent Cable Forum
PITTSBURGH, March 2, 2010 — The American Cable Association today announced that Blair Levin, Executive Director of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative at the Federal Communications Commission, will address the American Cable Association’s 17th Annual Summit on Tuesday, April 20, providing the latest developments within government to promote nationwide broadband adoption and deployment and stimulate its utilization to the fullest extent by private industry and public institutions.
“ACA is very pleased that Blair Levin has agreed to speak at the ACA Summit to offer his important insights on the direction of national broadband policy following release of the agency’s much-anticipated national broadband plan that he had a central role in crafting. We hope that Blair’s participation will continue the important dialogue on how ACA members can play a constructive role in delivering affordable solutions to the 100 million Americans who do not have a broadband subscription,” American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.
From 1993 to 1997, Mr. Levin was Chief of Staff of the FCC under Chairman Reed Hundt. Most recently a policy analyst for the investment banking firm Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Mr. Levin stepped down from his Wall Street position in June 2009 to return to the FCC to lead the agency’s effort to craft a comprehensive broadband plan designed to ensure all Americans have access to broadband capability and establish benchmarks for meeting that goal. The FCC’s broadband plan was mandated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
While the FCC has provided frequent updates on the plan’s key components, the agency intends to release the full report to Congress on March 17, 2010. The ambitious plan is also expected to serve as the blueprint for establishing broadband as a technological driver of reform and efficiency in the health care, education, public safety and government services sectors. A major component of the plan is expected to include recommendations to ensure that finite spectrum resources are put to their best and highest uses.
The FCC’s plan is expected to focus on a number issues of special concern to independent cable operators, including mechanisms to upgrade middle-mile infrastructure in rural areas; deployment of advanced set-top boxes in a cost-efficient manner; and first-ever Universal Service Fund support for broadband without an expansion in the program’s annual budget.
The ACA Summit is being held April 19-21 at National Harbor, Maryland, a major visitor destination convenient to downtown Washington, D.C.
The ACA Summit is a unique forum that highlights the special role that independent cable operators play in providing state-of-the-art communications services to rural communities across the nation. Independent cable operators are playing a critical role in ensuring that every American has affordable access to broadband infrastructure so vital to the country’s security and progress.