New Mozilla Poll: Americans from Both Political Parties Overwhelmingly Support Net Neutrality

Our survey also reveals that a majority of Americans do not trust the government to protect Internet access


There’s something that Americans of varied political affiliations — Democrats, Republicans and Independents — largely agree on: the need to protect net neutrality.

A recent public opinion poll carried out by Mozilla and Ipsos revealed overwhelming support across party lines for net neutrality, with over three quarters of Americans (76%) supporting net neutrality. Eighty-one percent of Democrats and 73% of Republicans are in favor of it.

Another key finding: Most Americans do not trust the U.S. government to protect access to the Internet. Seventy percent of Americans place no or little trust in the Trump administration or Congress (78%) to do so.

Mozilla and Ipsos carried out the poll in late May, on the heels of the FCC’s vote to begin dismantling Obama-era net neutrality rules. We polled approximately 1,000 American adults across the U.S., a sample that included 354 Democrats, 344 Republicans, and 224 Independents.

At Mozilla, we believe net neutrality is integral to a healthy Internet: it enables Americans to say, watch and make what they want online, without meddling or interference from ISPs (Internet Service Providers, such as AT&T, Verizon, and Time Warner). Net neutrality is fundamental to free speech, competition, innovation and choice online.

As you may have seen, the FCC has proposed rolling back net neutrality protections that were enacted in 2015, and will collect public comments on net neutrality through August 18th. Then, hopefully drawing on those comments, the FCC will vote whether to adopt the order and strip their ability to create net neutrality rules.

In the coming months, Mozilla will continue to work with the majority of Americans who endorse net neutrality. We will directly engage with key policymakers. We will continue our advocacy work — like our net neutrality petition, which has garnered more than 100,000 signatures and over 50 hours of voicemail messages for the FCC (just a few of the almost five million comments on the order). And Mozilla will participate in the July 12 Day of Action, joining Fight for the Future, Free Press, Demand Progress and others to call for all Internet users to defend net neutrality.

Below, more key findings from the poll:

Respondents across the political spectrum (78%) believe that equal access to the Internet is a right, with large majorities of Democrats (88%), Independents (71%), and Republicans (67%) in agreement

Respondents have little trust in government institutions to protect their access to the Internet. The highest levels of distrust were reported for the Trump administration (70%), Congress (78%) and the FCC (58%)

When it comes to corporations protecting access to the Internet, 54% of respondents distrust ISPs

Americans view net neutrality as having a positive impact on most of society. Respondents said it is a “good thing” for small businesses (70%), individuals (69%), innovators (65%) and ISPs (55%), but fewer think that it will benefit big businesses (46%)

Below, the full results from our poll.

Q1. How much do you trust the following institutions, if at all, to protect your access to the internet?

ISPs (Internet service providers, such as AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner, etc.)

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Trust completely 9% 9% 10% 8%
Mostly trust 35% 38% 39% 27%
Trust a little bit 38% 38% 37% 37%
Do not trust at all 16% 12% 13% 26%
Don’t know 3% 3% 2% 2%

The Trump Administration

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Trust completely 10% 5% 21% 6%
Mostly trust 15% 4% 31% 14%
Trust a little bit 20% 10% 31% 24%
Do not trust at all 50% 78% 15% 46%
Don’t know 5% 2% 3% 9%

The Federal Communications Commission

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Trust completely 6% 7% 9% 3%
Mostly trust 28% 30% 32% 21%
Trust a little bit 34% 34% 35% 37%
Do not trust at all 24% 21% 16% 32%
Don’t know 9% 8% 8% 7%

Internet Companies

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Trust completely 8% 6% 11% 7%
Mostly trust 29% 34% 33% 21%
Trust a little bit 44% 43% 42% 42%
Do not trust at all 16% 12% 12% 28%
Don’t know 4% 4% 2% 1%


Total Democrat Republican Independent
Trust completely 6% 6% 8% 3%
Mostly trust 13% 13% 16% 10%
Trust a little bit 34% 37% 35% 30%
Do not trust at all 44% 41% 38% 52%
Don’t know 4% 3% 3% 5%

Q2. Which of the following statements do you agree more with?

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Consumers should be able to freely and quickly access their preferred content on the internet 86% 88% 81% 85%
ISPs should be able to offer fast lanes with quicker load times to websites that pay a premium 14% 12% 19% 15%

Q3. Based on all the things you know or have heard, do you support or oppose net neutrality?

(Note: Participants saw net neutrality defined as: “Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers providing consumer connection to the Internet should treat all data on the internet the same, not giving specific advantages or penalties in access by user, content, website, platform, or application.”)

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Strongly support 30% 35% 25% 29%
Somewhat support 46% 46% 48% 42%
Somewhat oppose 20% 17% 20% 24%
Strongly oppose 4% 2% 6% 5%

Q4. Do you think that net neutrality is a good thing or a bad thing for the following groups?

Small businesses

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Bad thing 9% 9% 10% 10%
Good thing 70% 68% 75% 72%
Makes no difference 21% 23% 15% 18%

Big business

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Bad thing 21% 29% 15% 20%
Good thing 46% 41% 53% 50%
Makes no difference 33% 30% 32% 31%


Total Democrat Republican Independent
Bad thing 10% 10% 11% 12%
Good thing 65% 68% 64% 64%
Makes no difference 25% 22% 25% 24%

Internet service providers

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Bad thing 18% 20% 18% 20%
Good thing 55% 55% 60% 55%
Makes no difference 26% 25% 22% 25%

People like me

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Bad thing 8% 6% 9% 11%
Good thing 69% 70% 70% 68%
Makes no difference 23% 24% 21% 21%

Q5. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Internet services providers will voluntarily look out for consumers’ best interests

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Strongly agree 11% 12% 10% 11%
Somewhat agree 26% 28% 28% 21%
Somewhat disagree 33% 32% 35% 33%
Strongly disagree 26% 22% 26% 33%
Don’t know 4% 6% 2% 3%

Equal access to the internet is a right

Total Democrat Republican Independent
Strongly agree 41% 52% 27% 44%
Somewhat agree 37% 36% 40% 31%
Somewhat disagree 10% 6% 17% 9%
Strongly disagree 8% 3% 13% 9%
Don’t know 4% 3% 3% 7%


About the Study

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted May 24-25, 2017 on behalf of Mozilla. For the survey, a sample of roughly 1,008 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The sample includes 354 Democrats, 344 Republicans, and 224 Independents.

The sample for this study was randomly drawn from Ipsos’s online panel (see link below for more info on “Access Panels and Recruitment”), partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling (see link below for more info on the Ipsos “Ampario Overview” sample method) and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2013 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,008, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=5.0).

The poll also has a credibility interval plus or minus 5.9 percentage points for Democrats, plus or minus 6.0 percentage points for Republicans, and plus or minus 7.5 percentage points for Independents.

For more information about conducting research intended for public release or Ipsos’ online polling methodology, please visit our Public Opinion Polling and Communication page where you can  download our brochure, see our public release protocol, or contact us.

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