'Consumer Reports' Survey: Majority Back Current Title II Rules

Consumer Reports said a new survey shows that most Americans want the FCC to keep the net-neutrality rules intact.

That survey was released Wednesday (Sept. 27), designated by pro-Title II groups as a day of Hill advocacy for preserving 2015 Open Internet Order based on common-carrier rules.

Related: Title II Fans Prep for Advocacy Day

The survey found that 57% of respondents support the current rules, while 16% oppose them (27% had no opinion).

Asked whether internet service providers should be able to choose which websites, apps or streaming services customers can access, 67% said no, though ISPs would argue that they would not be doing that whether the current rules remain or are rolled back.

The poll is included in a story on the Consumer Reports website under the headline and deck: "Survey: Consumers Favor Strong Net-Neutrality Rules; Majority of respondents think internet providers should be barred from discriminating against lawful content."

Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports, said the survey shows why FCC chair Ajit Pai's plan to reclassify ISPs as information services not subject to common-carrier rules and revisit the Open Internet Order rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization should be rejected.

Legislators have for years been trying to come up with a bill to clarify the FCC's network-neutrality regulatory authority, without success.

“This survey makes it very clear that the majority of Americans support net-neutrality rules, while the FCC is running in the opposite direction,” said Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, in a statement accompanying the survey results. “If the FCC repeals these rules, it would be giving a green light to an internet service provider to play favorites with its preferred websites, while saddling other sites with slower speeds and higher hurdles to reach consumers."

The survey, weighted for age, gender, region, race/ethnicity and education, was of 1,005 U.S. adults 18 and older, conducted by phone July 20-23. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The questions were not available at press time.

(Photo via Rock1997Image taken on Jan. 18, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 16x9 aspect ratio.)

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.