Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Jeb Bush Proudly Promises To Axe Net Neutrality If Elected

The Jeb Bush campaign this week unveiled a major part of the candidate's technology platform, and it likely includes taking a hatchet to net neutrality rules. The new policy outline on Bush's website spends some time butchering the very definition of net neutrality as well, parroting several long-standing incumbent ISP narratives that net neutrality is somehow about content companies not paying their fair share, or that modernization of existing rules is somehow "antiquated." Indeed, Bush's definition of net neutrality is rather unique:

"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."

Except as we've been over this ad nauseum; net neutrality isn't about prohibiting ISPs from charging content companies, it's about mammoth broadband providers abusing the lack of last-mile competition to give themselves a leg up in emerging markets. I assume the Bush campaign is referencing the FCC's plan to police interconnection deals between ISPs and the likes of Netflix, something that has actually improved the health of the Internet already.

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