People want wireless net neutrality, at least according to a new survey published by the Internet Association, which represents some of the biggest Internet companies in the world. The firestorm of debate over net neutrality is all coming to a head as the tech industry anxiously waits for the FCC to releases its revised guidelines on the subject. Whether net neutrality rules about Internet fast lanes and censorship should apply to the wireless Internet as much as wireline networks will be a key part in those rules. The Internet Association and its member companies, like Google and Facebook, are keen to make sure that net neutrality becomes universal.
According to the SurveyMonkey data collected for the Internet Association study, people support Internet providers from deciding if a website should be blocked by a two-to-one ration, while almost 90 percent of people want to block the creation of so-called Internet fast lanes. These are arguably the heart of the net neutrality debate, and a powerful argument if taken as representative of the entire U.S. That’s also whey they play a central role in the repeated efforts by the Internet Association to convince the FCC to treat wireless Internet service in the same way as its companion wireline service.
“There is only one Internet and the FCC’s open Internet rules should recognize that,” said Internet Association president Michael Beckerman in a statement. “No matter how users choose to connect to the Internet, net neutrality rules should apply universally on both wireless and wireline networks.”
The survey, although supposedly representative of the U.S., was still only 550 people. The record-breaking 3.7 million comments sent to the FCC during its recent request for public input is a far more impressive number, especially as all but a fraction of a percent of them were in favor of net neutrality and the open Internet.
The survey was sent to the FCC by the Internet Association to accompany what’s known as an ex parte letter, which formally files its arguments on behalf of wireless net neutrality. And just in case the number and words weren’t making its opinion clear, the Internet Association created the helpful cartoon seen below to make its point explicit.
“High speed Internet access is a necessity to compete in today’s economy,” Beckerman said. “Connecting through a mobile device is often the only way low-income Americans get online. Creating enforceable net neutrality rules that cover both wired and wireless connections ensures that all Americans have access to an uncensored Internet.”
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