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Jeb Bush would wipe out the FCC's net neutrality rules if elected president

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

If Jeb Bush eventually overcomes Donald Trump, secures the GOP's presidential nomination, and gets elected, the FCC's still-young net neutrality rules could be eradicated. Today, Bush issued a promise for regulatory reform, pointing to a "regulatory crisis in Washington" under the Obama administration that includes Dodd-Frank, environment-focused regulations, and the net neutrality framework passed early last year — with the strong support of Obama. Bush has vowed to dismantle the net neutrality rules, which give the commission strict oversight of ISPs and prohibit paid fast lanes, speed throttling, and targeted app blocking.

Jeb Bush sees things a bit differently. "These rules prohibit one group of companies (ISPs) from charging another group of companies (content companies) the full cost for using their services," reads the page on his campaign website. Here's the full text:

The Federal Communications Commission’s Net Neutrality rule classifies all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as "public utilities," subjecting them to antiquated "common carrier" regulation. 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.

Bush's stance won't be welcomed by net neutrality supporters and those who advocate for an open internet. And he's made it clear this would happen early in his administration, promising to "start" a Jeb Bush presidency by undoing Obama's regulatory accomplishments. Actually pulling that off would require passing legislation to topple the net neutrality framework — or appointing new FCC commissioners who would vote to roll back the rules. Whichever path he chooses, Bush seems determined to make his mark on the internet in short order if he reaches the Oval Office.