NCTA: Americans favour ‘light touch’ Internet regulation
May 12, 2017
A majority of Americans says that the government should employ a ‘light touch’ when regulating the Internet and that reliance on a ‘public utility’ model of regulation is not appropriate for the growth and development of dynamic broadband networks, according to a new study by Morning Consult, on behalf of the NCTA – The Internet & Television Association.
Both Democrats and Republicans agree that regulating the Internet in the same way as a public utility negatively impacts ongoing investment and innovation in broadband networks according to the survey.
The report shows strong voter preference for government having a ‘light touch’ when it comes to setting rules and regulations to promote an open Internet experience.
Key findings from the survey include:
- By an overwhelming 78 per cent to 12 per cent margin, voters support the government having little or no regulation of the Internet, with 53 per cent supporting a ‘light touch’ and 25 per cent do not want the government to regulate at all (10 per cent have no opinion).
- There is bipartisan consensus across party affiliation for ‘light touch’ regulation, including 55 per cent of Democrats, 52 per cent of Republicans and 52 per cent of Independents. A significant percentage of those groups also favour no government regulation of the Internet (21 per cent of Democrats, 27 per cent of Republicans and 26 per cent of Independents).
- By an 18-point margin – 51 per cent versus 33 per cent – voters say Internet access should not be regulated by the government as a public utility (16 per cent have no opinion).
- Even most Democrats say Internet access should not be regulated by the government as a public utility by a margin of 46 per cent to 39 per cent.
- By a two to one margin, voters believe regulating Internet access as a utility would worsen tech innovation.
- By a two to one margin, voters say regulating Internet access as a utility would decrease private tech investment.
The NCTA is an industry organisation that has always opposed Obama Administration regulation on net neutrality and supports its withdrawal.