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

TotalDemocratRepublicanIndependent
Trust completely9%9%10%8%
Mostly trust35%38%39%27%
Trust a little bit38%38%37%37%
Do not trust at all16%12%13%26%
Don’t know3%3%2%2%

 

The Federal Communications Commission

TotalDemocratRepublicanIndependent
Trust completely6%7%9%3%
Mostly trust28%30%32%21%
Trust a little bit34%34%35%37%
Do not trust at all24%21%16%32%
Don’t know9%8%8%7%

 

Internet Companies (Like Mozilla)

TotalDemocratRepublicanIndependent
Trust completely8%6%11%7%
Mostly trust29%34%33%21%
Trust a little bit44%43%42%42%
Do not trust at all16%12%12%28%
Don’t know4%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

TotalDemocratRepublicanIndependent
Trust completely10%5%21%6%
Mostly trust15%4%31%14%
Trust a little bit20%10%31%24%
Do not trust at all50%78%15%46%
Don’t know5%2%3%9%

 

The Federal Communications Commission

TotalDemocratRepublicanIndependent
Trust completely6%7%9%3%
Mostly trust28%30%32%21%
Trust a little bit34%34%35%37%
Do not trust at all24%21%16%32%
Don’t know9%8%8%7%

 

Congress

 TotalDemocratRepublicanIndependent
Trust completely6%6%8%3%
Mostly trust13%13%16%10%
Trust a little bit34%37%35%30%
Do not trust at all44%41%38%52%
Don’t know4%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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