According to US public policy think tank the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), most Americans are unfamiliar with the term ‘net neutrality’, want greater disclosure of the details of the FCC’s proposal to regulate the Internet, and think that the government regulating the Internet in the same way as a public utility will not be helpful.
The findings emerged from a nationwide survey, by Hart Research Associates, which also suggested that:
- Nearly three out of four (74 per cent) Americans are unfamiliar with the term ‘net neutrality’ and what it refers to.
- 73 per cent of Americans want greater disclosure of the details of the FCC’s proposal to regulate the Internet.
- Nearly eight in ten (79 per cent) Americans favour public disclosure of the exact wording and details of the FCC’s proposal to regulate the Internet before the FCC votes on it.
- Only one in three Americans thinks that regulating the Internet in the same way as telephone service will be helpful.
“The public neither understands nor supports the FCC voting on net neutrality rules without greater disclosure of the exact wording and the details of the proposal,” said Peter Hart, Founder of Hart Research Associates. “Net neutrality is near net zero understanding: just one in four Americans knows what the term refers to, and just one in 10 Americans has positive feelings about it. In addition, a majority of Americans think ‘the government should not take a stronger and more active role in overseeing and regulating the Internet.’”
“These findings suggest that the FCC’s bid to impose outdated telephone regulations on the Internet is driven more by professional activists than by the public, which seems instinctively to resist the idea,” said Will Marshall, PPI President. “That’s why Congress should take a closer look at what the FCC is up to and make sure these issues get a thorough public airing.”