What Accounts for Sudden Public Opposition to Internet Regulation?

April 10, 2010

By Adam Thierer
The Technology Liberation Front

I don’t place a lot of stock in polls… until they confirm what I have long believed, that is! According to this new poll by Rasmussen Reports, 53% of Americans oppose FCC regulation of the Internet. Specifically, in response to the question, “Should the Federal Communications Commission regulate the Internet like it does radio and television?” the breakdown was: 27% =Yes, 53% = No, 19% = Not sure.

But here’s what is more interesting. The 27% of “yes” votes represents a stunning 22-point drop in support for federal regulation of the Internet since a June 2008 poll by Rasmussen, which asked the exact same question. Now, what has changed since 2008 that might have led to such rapidly declining support for Net regulation? Could it have had something to do withthe FCC’s ambitious plan to centrally plan broadband markets via its 376-page National Broadband Plan? Or its incessant crusade to impose burdensome Net neutrality regulations, which could decimate investment and innovation?

No, I think what really must be to blame for this sudden public uprising against the FCC wasChairman Julius Genachowski’s alliance with the evil Elmo. People have had enough of the little red demon. That’s my theory and I’m stickin’ to it.  I mean, after all, from what my friends on the Left tell me, the American people are just dying to get Net neutrality regulations on the books and have a massive infusion of taxpayer support for Soviet-style broadband plans andmedia bailouts.  So clearly those things just can’t be driving this sudden public skepticism about the FCC, right?  It must be Elmo.

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