In remarks before the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council conference in Washington, D.C., Blair Levin—the coordinator of the FCC’s national broadband plan—said he is “much less optimistic” about the prospects of developing a meaningful broadband plan after perusing 8,000 pages of public comments that offer few specific details on what that plan should contain and how it should be implemented. By February 17, 2010, and in accordance with the directives of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the FCC is required to present to Congress a plan for facilitating the deployment of high-speed broadband services to Americans on a nationwide scale, including unserved and underserved areas. Although the deadline for reply comments in the FCC’s broadband plan proceeding expired on Monday, Levin promised FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski earlier this month that the agency would launch a “transparent, inclusive and participatory” public process on the plan that would feature a series of public workshops in August and September (with further opportunities for comment) to be followed by field hearings this fall. While acknowledging agreement among commenters that a broadband plan is needed, Levin told his audience that there is “very little” in those comments “that actually moves the ball forward.” Offering examples, Levin said there is consensus that more spectrum needs to be made available for broadband but “little said about how to make it so.” While applauding commenters’ agreement “on the need for increased adoption,” Levin observed, “there’s not a lot of help for the agency in making choices about the most productive actions and most efficient use of limited funds to achieve that end.” Adding that the comments lack data, Levin said many comments “ask us to declare things, to take philosophical positions, [but that] has to be tied to actual government actions.” Warning, “if all we have is a great process, we will fail,” Levin called on commenters to focus on how desired results should be achieved and to specify what kind of spending will yield the maximum “public policy return on investment.”