What Mozilla’s “Net Neutrality” Poll Really Tells Us

In a recently-conducted public opinion poll, internet giant Mozilla found that there is wide, bipartisan support for net neutrality and open internet principles. Yep, Net neutrality is a popular concept, even cable association NCTA released a survey saying this much. This isn’t new, nor does it really have anything to do with the core issue of the current fight over the Obama-era 2015 rules, which is all about the legal authority upon which those rules were based.

Misleading definitions aside, a close look at the Mozilla data reveals more valuable insights into consumer sentiment toward regulation and trust across the broad ecosystem that Mozilla conveniently failed to mention.

60% of Americans Distrust Internet Companies (i.e. Edge Providers, Like Mozilla), More So Than the FCC and ISPs 

Mozilla’s findings show that 54% trust “a little or not at all.” Using the same scale, 58% do not trust the FCC and 60% of respondents distrust internet companies.

Internet service providers

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Trust completely 9% 9% 10% 8%
Mostly trust 35% 38% 39% 27%
Trust a little bit 38% 38% 37% 37%
Do not trust at all 16% 12% 13% 26%
Don’t know 3% 3% 2% 2%

 

The Federal Communications Commission

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Trust completely 6% 7% 9% 3%
Mostly trust 28% 30% 32% 21%
Trust a little bit 34% 34% 35% 37%
Do not trust at all 24% 21% 16% 32%
Don’t know 9% 8% 8% 7%

 

Internet Companies (Like Mozilla)

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Trust completely 8% 6% 11% 7%
Mostly trust 29% 34% 33% 21%
Trust a little bit 44% 43% 42% 42%
Do not trust at all 16% 12% 12% 28%
Don’t know 4% 4% 2% 1%

 

Most Americans Do Not Trust the Federal Government to Govern Access to Their Internet

Virtually half the country does not trust the federal government to interfere with their internet access, which is precisely what the 2015 Obama-era order did when it relied on Title II classification of broadband internet access. Proponents of Title II Net Neutrality are calling for “the strongest possible” government oversight, but Mozilla’s own survey undercuts any claim to having wide support among consumers for this.

As Mozilla’s release states “Respondents have little trust in government institutions to protect their access to the Internet.”  Let’s look at the data:

The Trump Administration

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Trust completely 10% 5% 21% 6%
Mostly trust 15% 4% 31% 14%
Trust a little bit 20% 10% 31% 24%
Do not trust at all 50% 78% 15% 46%
Don’t know 5% 2% 3% 9%

 

The Federal Communications Commission

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Trust completely 6% 7% 9% 3%
Mostly trust 28% 30% 32% 21%
Trust a little bit 34% 34% 35% 37%
Do not trust at all 24% 21% 16% 32%
Don’t know 9% 8% 8% 7%

 

Congress

  Total Democrat Republican Independent
Trust completely 6% 6% 8% 3%
Mostly trust 13% 13% 16% 10%
Trust a little bit 34% 37% 35% 30%
Do not trust at all 44% 41% 38% 52%
Don’t know 4% 3% 3% 5%

Based on Mozilla’s survey, its appears that less regulation of the Internet is what consumers want and this a message that regulators and policymakers need to hear.

 

 

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