The Bush administration has expressed its displeasure with the idea of requiring operators making use of the "white space" bands to offer a free wireless broadband service.
"The FCC has been considering auctioning 25 megahertz of spectrum in the 2155 MHz to 2180 MHz band," explains CNET's Steven Musil. "As part of the rules for using the spectrum, the FCC plans to require license holders to offer some free wireless broadband service.
The FCC sees the idea, which is based on a proposal submitted to the FCC by M2Z Networks in 2006, as a way to provide to millions of Americans who either can't afford or don't want to pay for high-speed Internet access."
But as the WSJ's Amy Schatz writes, "Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez sent a letter to the agency's Republican chairman Wednesday afternoon expressing the administration's displeasure with the idea. 'The administration believes that the (airwaves) should be auctioned without price or product mandate,' Mr. Gutierrez wrote. 'The history of FCC spectrum auctions has shown that the potential for problems increases in instances where licensing is overly prescriptive or designed around unproven business models.'"
In other words, sayeth the Bush administration, regulation is always, always, always a bad idea…