Poll: Majority of Americans Don’t Want FCC to Regulate Internet

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A new national survey released just a few weeks after the Federal Communications Commission narrowly voted to move forward on net neutrality regulations indicates that most Americans don’t want FCC to expand its authority over the Internet.

In a Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Dec. 23, only 21 percent said they wanted FCC to regulate the Internet as it does radio and TV.

Of the remaining respondents, 54 percent said they do not favor such regulations, and 25 percent said they weren’t sure.

Other statistics:

§  More respondents favored free-market competition (52 percent) over regulation (27 percent) to protect Internet users

§  56 percent believe FCC would regulate in a way to promote a political agenda

§  28 percent believe the commission would regulate in an unbiased manner

But, don’t say the people have spoken just yet.

CNet points out that, for whatever reason, the hullabaloo over net neutrality has escaped a good portion of the American public. According to the survey, 20 percent have been following the proceedings closely, while another 35 percent report they have followed the issue somewhat closely.

Finally, there is the issue of confidence in polls. Many critics — and Rasmussen has had its fair share — allege that polls often authenticate whatever their designers want to find.

Meanwhile, FierceWireless reports FCC’s unfinished business regarding wireless networks will likely haunt the beleaguered commission in the coming year in the form of court challenges to its authority.

While wireless providers are barred from blocking competing services similar to their own offerings, they are given freer rein than wired broadband providers in blocking content and applications.

“Thus, we expect the FCC will face significant opposition to its new rules from a range of players,” FierceWireless notes. “Specifically, we expect those on the telecom side to attempt to tie the FCC’s rules up in court by calling into question the agency’s authority to implement net neutrality.”

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