Mozilla: Regardless of Party, Most Americans Support Net Neutrality

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Net neutrality has overwhelming support from the majority of Americans, regardless of their political stripes, according to a survey by Mozilla and Ipsos released this week.

More than three-quarters (76 percent) of Americans support net neutrality, with 81 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of Republicans expressing their support in a poll carried out late May.

Net neutrality is an Obama-era rule that prevents internet service providers from slowing or blocking rivals’ content. Net neutrality has seen resurgence in public interest in recent months since the FCC began the process of dismantling the rules, and in particular since late night host John Oliver urged viewers to participate in the public comment period, which continues until Aug. 18, 2017.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and broadband providers have been pushing to replace the rules that they claim brought intrusive government oversight, threatening investment and innovation.

The survey, which included responses from 1,000 American adults across party lines, also found that most Americans place no or little trust in the Trump administration (70 percent) or Congress (78 percent) to protect access to the internet.

“The climate just isn’t right at the moment for a legislative solution,” Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, the top Democrat on the Commerce Committee, said at a hearing last month. “There are too many folks from Chairman Pai to the stakeholders and the lawmakers that are dug in on a particular side of this issue.”

Fifty-eight percent of respondents have no or little trust in the FCC to protect their internet access. Comparatively, 54 percent of respondents distrust ISPs to protect their access to the internet.

Respondents said that net neutrality is a good thing for small businesses (70 percent), individuals (69 percent), innovators (65 percent) and ISPs (55 percent), but fewer think that it will benefit big businesses (46 percent).

Mozilla is firmly in support of net neutrality, engaging with policy makers and plans to participate in the July 12 Day of Action along with a long list of advocacy groups and technology companies.

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