“Federal regulation is holding America back from its potential, stifling job creation, inhibiting growth and responding to the needs of special interests rather than Americans,” says Jeb Bush.
And some of those regulations are the recently-imposed Net Neutrality rules that the FCC outlined earlier this year.
According to Bush’s official policy positions, the former Florida Governor will work to undo these rules.
“The Federal Communications Commission’s Net Neutrality rule classifies all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as ‘public utilities,’ subjecting them to antiquated ‘common carrier’ regulation,” says the Bush team in a post titled The Regulatory Crisis in Washington.
“Rather than enhancing consumer welfare, these rules prohibit one group of companies (ISPs) from charging another group of companies (content companies) the full cost for using their services. Small broadband operators—like KWISP (475 customers in rural Illinois) and Wisper ISP (8,000 customers near St. Louis, Mo)—have declared under penalty of perjury that the Net Neutrality rule has caused them to cut back on investments to upgrade and expand their networks.”
Earlier this year the FCC, under pressure of the Obama administration, reclassified the Internet as a public utility. Broadband is now considered a telecommunications service, and providers will be regulated.
The FCC called the new order “strong, sustainable rules, grounded in multiple sources of legal authority, to ensure that Americans reap the economic, social, and civic benefits of an Open Internet today and into the future.”
The FCC’s Net Neutrality rules ban ISPs from treating some internet traffic differently than others – and forcing content providers to pay for access.
The “no fast lanes” rules were praised by the likes of the ACLU, Netflix, EFF, and open internet advocates – but criticized by major ISPs like AT&T and Verizon. Republicans in Congress have floated multiple pieces of legislation to reverse the reclassification.
As Ars Technica points out, Bush would have a few options in getting rid of the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules. He could appoint a new FCC chairperson, or push legislation himself. If passed, he would surely sign it – Obama would surely veto any such laws.
Bush joins a long list of GOP Presidential nominees to speak out against the Net Neutrality rules.