In a way he is but he is much better written than Geordi.
Why? Is he the Geordi of Babylon 5?
I don't know about that. Most of the time, like Geordi, he sits there as Mr. Exposition, or Mr. Quickly Advance the plot, but he rarely gets developed as a character. His subplot in season three mostly worked, and I liked what he had to do in season four, but other that I think he was the character JMS had the weakest grasp on.
And yet, like Levar Burton, Richard Biggs manages to create a character that's extremely memorable despite being thinly developed through shear force of personality. I think, in that respect, they're very similar, though I think Franklin had slightly better development than Geordi in the end.