Originally published: August 24, 2009
Last updated: August 24, 2009 - 6:47pm
The Federal Communications Commission's National Broadband Plan workshops remain flexible -- more workshops and panelists are being and will be added "as people speak to us and as we see a need." Riffing on the 12 Days of Christmas, Blair Levin, who is leading the FCC's efforts, ticked off a list that was headlined by 15 participants from small and disadvantaged businesses and ended with "one each from the analyst world, legal, retail and the web." One critic replied that, even using Levin's list, by his count there were still "76 of 110" with "direct or indirect ties to industry," or 69%. And if just the workshops focused on policy were broken out, the number plummeted to 3%. "The comment that there has to be an absolute balance between Consumer Federation or Consumers Union and every provider, I just think that is unrealistic," says FCC spokesman Mark Wigfield. "If you are going to talk about broadband you have to talk to people who are providing broadband. What it shows is that we have got people providing broadband from many different corners of the broadband world.
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