U.S. government eyes broadband subsidization; Commerce Dept. finds unexplained gaps in broadband access

> While eating might seem to be a higher priority, the government is considering subsidizing broadband Internet service for low-income Americans who qualify for food stamps and other government assistance programs, an FCC committee says. The program would be similar to the Lifeline and Link Up programs that offer voice services to the poor at reduced rates. Story.

> There's a racial digital divide going on that has nothing to do with economics, a Commerce Department report, Digital Nation II, has revealed. "An African-American household with the same income and education level as a white household is still less likely to have broadband access," according to Rebecca Blank, Commerce's undersecretary for economic affairs. That, she added, "is not something we expected to see." Story.

> L4 has introduced a platform that it believes will provide busywork for Americans who no longer want to settle down for a quiet evening of TV entertainment. "Using the Panorama platform, companies can quickly deliver personalized content such as sports scores, weather forecasts of Facebook status updates through useful and entertaining widgets that are specifically designed for use on the television screen with the touch of a button," L4 said in a description of its new product. Aside from the fact that that sounds like any other OTT provider, isn't this like adding stress on top of a recently completed workday? Story.

> If there are lessons to be learned from our neighbors to the north, the entire video communications space might want to take note that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), basically a longer-winded version of the U.S. FCC, wants the power to mete out tougher punishment to "companies in the broadcast system" that it considers rulebreakers. Story.

And finally... what do you do after you've been chairman-CEO of Time Warner? If you're Gerald Levin, you take a job as senior advisor to Oasis TV, a "multi-platform body-mind-spirit content provider" with an eye to becoming chairman in the near future. "It's ... about a lifestyle I personally believe in," Levin said. Story.