Former FCC member Blair Levin is largely responsible for devising major components of the National Broadband Plan, a set of policies set by the Obama administration in attempt to bring broadband internet access to everyone in America at an affordable price. Just days before his baby is born (some components of the broadband plan are set to start this week), Levin has had a change of heart. Today, according to The Hill, Levin has admitted that the expansion of telephone-based programs like “Link-Up” and “Lifeline” to cover broadband services would be a mistake.
Link-Up and Lifeline are FCC-State partnerships which use Universal Service Fund (USF) money to subsidize low-income people’s telephone bills. Their source of funding, the USF, is paid for by all other consumers of telephone services. A study came out last week which found that for every dollar of incoming funds to the USF, only 41 cents make their way through the endlessly bloated bureaucracy.
Sounds like Levin is right to question the efficiency of his plan. Lets hope he can convince his old co-horts to ditch the effort before its too late.
Read more about it at The Hill’s blog.