President Bush doesn't use email, why should you want to?

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Despite President Bush and his lame-duck administration's disapproval of earmarking some of the spectrum white space for free public access, it looks like the FCC will approve the plan when it votes next week.

FCC Chair Kevin Martin proposes requiring the winner of the spectrum auction to devote 25MHz in the 2,155 to 2,180MHz advanced wireless services band to a free broadband network. The network would be supported by advertising and charges for faster speeds available on pay tiers. The FCC would require family-friendly programming on the free tier and ban pornography. It also would impose an open access requirement on the spectrum, allowing any device or software to plug into the network.

The Bush administration supports a free market auction with the winner able to do whatever it wants with the purchase.
I wrote a piece about a month ago for Investor's Business Daily about the business opportunity for increased broadband access. It seems pretty clear that giving high-speed Internet to more people will result in more business opportunities for all kinds of businesses.

The businesses I talked to that were pushing for greater access ranged from a credit and collections company that wanted to hire collectors who work from home at odd hours, to a telephone company in rural Indiana that thought it could make plenty of money and help farmers do the same if it could expand their access to markets via the Internet.

Google co-founder Larry Page estimated that using the free white space for public access in areas where broadband is mostly unavailable now would raise his firm's ad revenue by 20 to 30% a year.

The Associated Press recently pointed out that President Bush hasn't used e-mail in the last eight years for fear his messages will be subject to the public records law and available for all of us to read.

Does he think that if Internet abstinence is good enough for him, it should be good enough for the rest of us? Or maybe after Bush gets back to his Texas ranch, out there under the Big "Internet-free" Sky, he'll see this issue differently.
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