Poll: Most would switch if ISP slowed traffic

About 71 percent of the public would switch their Internet service provider if they found out the company was trying to block or slow traffic to popular but high-bandwidth services like Netflix or Skype, according to a new poll.

According to the poll from Consumer Reports, just 10 percent of the respondents said they would drop their Internet service entirely if their company were blocking or slowing some traffic, but 46 percent said they would complain to Congress or the Federal Communications Commission. 

The survey offers a warning to broadband companies, after a top appeals court overturned the FCC’s net neutrality rules, which prevented Internet service companies from treating websites differently.

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Internet companies had complained the FCC’s rules amounted to government meddling in the private market.

The federal appeals court last month threw out the existing FCC regulations but upheld the ability of the FCC to regulate the Web.

Consumer advocates like Consumers Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports, have defended the rules and urged FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to appeal the decision or take new action to put the rules back in place.

Wheeler has pledged to take action but has not yet clarified precisely how. On Tuesday, the White House backed whatever path Wheeler chose to go down.

The Consumer Report poll was conducted in February and surveyed 800 U.S. households with broadband service.