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March 10, 2015

Jeb Bush Critical of Net Neutrality

Jeb Bush speaking at CPAC 2015 in Washington, DC. Photo by Gage Skidmore

Rumored presidential hopeful Jeb Bush is calling Net neutrality a “crazy” idea.

The former Republican Florida governor, while taking questions from Iowa voters at a Cedar Rapids Pizza Ranch, criticized the Federal Communication Commission’s decision to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility.

“The idea of regulating access to the Internet with a 1934 law is one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard,” he was quoted by Time. “Just think of the logic of using a 1934 law that was designed when we did have a monopoly for wire-line service as the basis to regulate the most dynamic part of life in America.”

“It’s not going to be good for consumers,” he said, adding that reclassifying broadband Internet as a telecom service, which is also known as Title II, would “stifle competition, stifle innovation.”

The FCC voted in favor of Title II in a 3-2 vote Feb. 26. Not surprisingly, the vote was split along party lines, with the Republican commissioners being the dissenting voices.

Under the new rules, blocking and throttling become major no-nos as does paid prioritization, meaning broadband providers cannot implement “fast lanes” for streaming video providers willing to fork over enough cash.

The Commission will also have authority to address questionable practices on a case-by-case basis.

Bush also accused U.S. President Barack Obama of “steamrolling” the FCC by calling on it to implement the changes that he himself had endorsed.

Bush is not the only one of that opinion.

Two congressional committees are also accusing the White House of unduly influencing FCC chairman Tom Wheeler’s new Net neutrality plan.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter to Wheeler last month to express his concern about the radical change in the FCC chief’s opinions on Net neutrality. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, earlier had sent a similar letter.

Wheeler, in his original plan last spring, suggested allowing broadband providers to charge content producers higher fees for faster delivery of their material as long as the fees were “commercially reasonable.”

Johnson wants Wheeler to explain why he has changed his mind. He also wants to see all correspondence between Wheeler and the White House.

Bush, however, is hoping Congress will reverse the FCC decision.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.