First Pitch: Levin’s Engagement Raises Stake for National Broadband Policy

Broadband Stimulus, FCC, National Broadband Plan, NTIA, Premium Content June 8th, 2009

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From Weekly Report

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2009 – Late Friday afternoon, the Federal Communications Commission announced that Blair Levin, former chief of staff to Clinton FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, will be rejoining the commission “to help coordinate its development of a national broadband plan.”

This is a significant development for a number of reasons. Levin, the respected managing director of the investment advisory firm Stifel Nicolaus, was widely seen as a potential FCC chairman himself. He served on President Obama’s transition team. When the nod instead went to Obama’s Harvard Law School classman Julius Genachowski, the conventional wisdom had it that no other job at the commission could attract Levin’s interest.

As in a previous era – when Hundt was FCC chairman during the first term of the Clinton administration – Levin’s willingness to serve again at the FCC appears to herald an era of close and collegial cooperation among the executive branch agencies responsible for communications policy, and with the FCC. Genachowski served on the same team that Levin headed up at that time.

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