Three out of four voters support restoring net neutrality, new public consultation survey finds
COLLEGE PARK, Maryland, May 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A new public consultation survey found that a large bipartisan majority of Americans (73%) support restoring net neutrality, including 82% Democrats, 65% Republicans and 68% independent. The online survey of 2,702 registered voters was conducted by the Public consultation program to University of Maryland (CPP).
Respondents received a brief briefing on the 2015 “net neutrality” regulations on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that were put in place by the Federal Communication Commission, and were asked to rate the arguments for and against the reinstatement of these rules. The content of the survey was reviewed by experts from different sides of the issue, to ensure that the briefing was accurate and balanced, and that the strongest arguments were presented.
To introduce the topic, respondents were told that net neutrality regulations prohibit ISPs from:
- Create an internet “fast lane” with faster download speeds for higher paying website and app users
- Provide faster speeds to ISP’s own applications
- Block or slow down specific websites or applications
“In our third study on the topic, we continue to find overwhelming bipartisan support for net neutrality,” said Steven Kull, director of the PPC. Kull added: “Our method of public consultation which gives respondents a briefing on the issue and has them weigh the arguments for and against is particularly useful in learning their values and priorities in relation to complex or unfamiliar topics.”
Arguments in favor of restoring net neutrality were found to be compelling by far more respondents than those against, overall, and among Republicans and Democrats.
The first argument for restoring net neutrality stated that since the repeal of net neutrality, ISPs have taken advantage of consumers by slowing internet speeds and charging higher fees to restore them. It was deemed persuasive by eight in ten bipartisan (Republican 74%, Democrat 86%). The next argument countered that net neutrality regulations stifle innovation, hinder infrastructure development, and lead to slower download speeds. Four in ten people found it compelling, including 46% of Republicans and 31% of Democrats.
An argument against reinstating net neutrality said “concerns about repealing net neutrality have been exaggerated” because the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is required to publicly report anti-competitive behavior. Only half found it persuasive, though a majority of Republicans did (57%). The last argument countered that the FTC does not have the power to control major ISPs, which dominate the market and offer consumers little or no choice. Two-thirds bipartisanship found this compelling, including 62% Republicans and 74% Democrats.
The survey was conducted online from January 27 – February 28, 2022with a national probability sample of 2,702 registered voters, provided by by Nielsen Scarborough sample of respondents, who were recruited by mail and telephone from a random sample of households. The margin of error was +/- 1.9%.
CONTACT: JP Thomas, [email protected]617.899.8570
SOURCE public consultation program