A large majority of Republicans – and those who voted for President Donald Trump – support existing net neutrality rules and disapprove of giving more control to Internet service providers, a new poll shows.
In a survey released Thursday by the Internet and Competitive Networks Association (INCOMPAS), and conducted by GOP research firm IMGE Insights, Trump voters support net neutrality protections by a 3-to-1 margin, and 70 percent say the Internet has improved over the past two years under the current law.
Net neutrality regulations passed in 2015 by the Federal Communications Commission were aimed at preventing broadband companies from favoring their own content over competitors' services or charging fees to deliver faster service.
The poll shows that 75 percent of the Trump voters responding support the current net neutrality rules, which prohibit big service providers from slowing or blocking websites or video services. Among all voters, support for the rules also stood at 75 percent, while support was slightly lower — 72 percent — among all Republicans surveyed.
In contrast to their support of existing net neutrality rules, the poll showed less support for net neutrality in general, with 50 percent backing among all voters, 51 percent among Republicans, and 48 percent among Trump voters, while
The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
"The findings show broad consensus that Republican and conservative voters favor open Internet protections, are angry over the recent data privacy vote and do not want big cable companies controlling their access to conservative websites," Bryan Sanders said in a statement.
The poll results were released during an event at the National Press Club.
According to the pollster, the survey also found conservatives concerned about big service providers like Comcast and AT&T favoring liberal content they own over conservative media online; Trump voters also want a proposed merger of AT&T and Time Warner blocked.
"Conservatives don't want cable companies controlling the Internet and charging them more for streaming services and websites they love," Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS, said in a statement. "Republican leaders started the effort to protect Internet freedom, and net neutrality is still a priority for our conservative base."
According to Pickering, the FCC has gotten seven million comments on net neutrality, adding "we're seeing record levels of participation because an open Internet is an American value."
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