Cable industry poll: Majority support net neutrality rules

Cable industry poll: Majority support net neutrality rules
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A majority of registered voters support net neutrality rules that prevent internet service providers from blocking, throttling or prioritizing content on the web, according to a new poll from Morning Consult and NCTA, a trade group that represents the cable and internet industry.

The survey found that 61 percent either strongly or somewhat support net neutrality rules, while 18 percent either strongly or somewhat oppose them. Another 21 percent either did not know or had no opinion.

The poll comes a week before the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to take an initial vote on repealing its 2015 net neutrality rules. The survey did not specifically ask respondents about the FCC's regulations, but rather whether they supported a set of rules in general.

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Republicans and groups such as the NCTA are opposed to the net neutrality rules because they reclassified the broadband industry as telecommunications services, a designation that opens those companies up to tougher regulation from the FCC.

The NCTA poll also included questions about the role the government should have in regulating the internet. A quarter said that the government should not regulate the internet at all, and 51 percent said it should employ a “light touch approach” to regulation — a phrase often used by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in arguing against the net neutrality rules.

And 51 percent said that the internet should not be regulated like a public utility — one of the GOP’s main arguments against the net neutrality rules, though Democrats argue that the rules are not that heavy-handed — while 33 percent said it should.

The results were based on responses from 2,194 registered voters and have a margin of error of 2 points.

Next week, the FCC will vote to decide whether to seek public comment on Pai’s proposal to repeal the rules, and thanks in part to late-night comedian John Oliver, the agency has already been flooded with public input on the rules.