Levin Encourages Digital CitizenshipBroadband's Impact, Education, Spectrum, Universal Service July 20th, 2010
David Cup, Reporter-Researcher, BroadbandBreakfast.com
WASHINGTON, July 20, 2010 – The principal author of the National Broadband Plan has several suggestions on how to achieve universal first-class digital citizenship.
Blair Levin, speaking at the Eighth Annual Access to Capital and Telecommunications policy conference held by the Minority Media & Telecom Council, says “we need to replace all textbooks in this country with digital content.” This platform will enable students to learn as much as they can as fast as they can he went onto explain.
The notion that teaching is restricted to ink and paper is wrong and Levin says that the digital platform is inherently self improving, leading to comprehensive devices and enhanced learning.
Levin says that this means that a generation from now, everyone will have the opportunity to be a first class digital citizen.
Levin also suggests Universal Service Fund reform. He says it needs to be repurposed for broadband because it is “heading for a train wreck.” The fund is not ready for broadband, says Levin, and without reform the necessary funds for the National Broadband Plan will not be available.
Access to broadband is a crucial element to first-class citizenship, in rural areas and low-income areas where it is either expensive or unavailable, the fund would subsidize private sector penetration.
He also suggests that there be better management of available spectrum. Levin says that by the middle of this decade there will be a spectrum crunch in major cities. With the growth of 3G and 4G networks, wireless broadband spectrum will be a key component for adoption of broadband, which will lead to first-class digital citizenship.