Another Survey Shows Massive Bipartisan Opposition To Net Neutrality Repeal
from the will-of-the-people dept
ISPs like Comcast (and the politicians, think tankers and PR/policy consultants paid to love them) have been successful framing net neutrality as a partisan issue to sow dissent and stall policy progress and consensus. But the reality is that net neutrality and net neutrality protections continue to have overwhelming, bipartisan support. Survey after survey have shown that the overwhelming majority of Americans support net neutrality, and for most people preventing natural monopolies from being bullies (at least until somebody has the courage to embrace policies that encourage broadband competition) is a no brainer.
This week another survey highlighted how opposition to Ajit Pai and the Trump FCC’s net neutrality repeal is overwhelming. According to a new study out of the University of Maryland (pdf), 86% of the country opposes the FCC’s decision to roll back net neutrality protections at ISP lobbyist behest. And again that opposition is bipartisan, with 82% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats opposing the FCC’s obnoxiously-named “restoring internet freedom” repeal. While the sample size of 997 registered voters is arguably a little small, there’s really nothing subtle about the findings:
It’s worth noting that since the last survey, Republican opposition to the repeal has actually grown from 75% to 82% as more people realize the ISP-manufactured reasons for the repeal are based largely on fluff and nonsense. There’s absolutely nothing “partisan” about trying to keep the internet relatively open, healthy and neutral. There’s nothing partisan about protecting consumers from natural monopolies who’ve literally bought and written state laws keeping their broken, anti-competitive status quo intact.
While the survey found the traditional ISP arguments about net neutrality being “heavy handed” or “stifling innovation” work a little better on GOP voters, the public overall isn’t really buying them:
Of course majority public opinion doesn’t automatically make something right, but in this case we’ve noted time and time again that the logic and data supporting this repeal are little more than hot garbage pushed by companies terrified of open competition and truly level playing fields. It’s difficult to tap dance around the fact that the attempted repeal of net neutrality is arguably the worst government tech policy decision in the history of the internet, making the SOPA backlash look like a toddler’s hiccup in comparison.
And while ISP lobbyists believe they’ve “won” the battle by convincing Ajit Pai to ignore the will of the public, they’d be pretty foolish to think this giant policy middle finger aimed squarely at already angry consumers isn’t going to result in mammoth and unforeseen political and policy blowback over the next decade. That’s assuming the FCC repeal survives its looming court challenge, something that’s no sure thing given all of the bizarre and unethical behavior Pai’s agency engaged in as it tried to float this monumental turd of a policy proposal.