A new GfK study is shedding light on one of the most talked-about subjects at this week’s CES conference – Internet (“net”) neutrality. Controversy continues to swirl over the recent FCC decision to allow Internet service providers greater control over the Internet “pipe,” setting up a marketplace that might come to resemble traditional pay-TV services.
In the just-released GfK survey, roughly half (55%) of all US consumers report that they understand the issue of net neutrality – regardless of whether they are following the neutrality debate closely. Among those who say they do understand net neutrality, 72% favor it – 8 points higher than the figure (64%) among those who feel they do not understand the issue.
Men are much more likely than women – 61% versus 48% – to report that they understand neutrality; and they are twice as likely (34% versus 17%) to be following neutrality developments in the news and elsewhere. But among those who say they understand neutrality, more women favor it than men (77% versus 68%).
From a political perspective, eight in ten (82%) Democrats who understand net neutrality are in favor of it, as well as 70% of Independents and those in other parties. A majority (56%) of Republican understanders also express support for maintaining net neutrality.
Respondents in the western US posted relatively low levels of support for neutrality. Two-thirds (67%) of those in the West who say they understand neutrality are in favor of it, compared to 76% in the Northeast and Midwest.
Among different age groups, a remarkable two-thirds (66%) of 15 to 24 year olds – whom GfK has dubbed the Now Generation – report understanding net neutrality; that stands out from the older groups – 20 percentage points higher than the 65-plus group, and also above the more established Millennials segment (25 to 34 years old), which came in at 57%.
For the net neutrality study, GfK interviewed 504 US consumers in December 2017. The margin of error is +/- 5 percentage points for analyses of the full respondent group.