July 9, 2018
New AAF Net Neutrality Survey
In December 2017, Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai made the decision to roll back Title II regulations, which had first been applied to the broadband industry in 2015. On June 11, 2018, this decision went into effect, returning the Internet to the same regulatory framework under which it experienced exponential growth from its founding until 2015.
Yet that development has not resolved the current debate over how best to preserve an open Internet. On May 16 of this year, the Senate voted 52-47 in favor of a Congressional Review Act (CRA, 5 U.S.C. 801) resolution of disapproval voiding the rollback regulations. This issue now moves to the House of Representatives. If the measure were to clear Congress and be signed by President Trump, onerous Title II regulations, initially designed to rate regulate utilities in the 1930s, would return.
In light of this activity, the American Action Forum commissioned polling on the sentiment of American voters on this issue, to determine familiarity with net neutrality, perspectives on framing the debate, and related policy opinions.
The most appropriate solution is for Congress to decide on a bipartisan regulatory framework for the Internet that ensures an open Internet, taking consumer and industry concerns into account. To that end, the survey results demonstrate support for a more robust, bipartisan legislative effort in lieu of the CRA approach.