Chris Dannen, Fast Company: In another nod to his alleged "free-market" principles, President Bush has expressed disapproval of the free nationwide Wi-Fi proposal being considered by the FCC and Congress.
It's an inauspicious time to decry helpful, even vital democratic initiatives in favor of ideology — after all, many of our most outspoken critics of federal mandate and regulation have ended up looking dogmatic, shortsighted or downright ignorant of late.
But that hasn't stopped the Bush team from making its anti-populist agenda known. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez issued an open letter to the FCC this week, stating the administration's argument against legislation that could lead to nationwide no-fee wireless Internet. The administration hopes to influence FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to overturn the proposal during the FCC's next scheduled meeting on December 18th.
The legislation, which is before Congress now, would require whoever buys the chunk of wireless spectrum being auctioned next year to set aside a quarter for no-fee service to rural areas that don't have broadband access.