The public has had its opinions noted and filed, but Americans are still speaking out in a boisterous chorus against what could be the end of a free and open Internet.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) invited the public to submit comments on proposed net neutrality rules. The two rounds of public commentary are closed and now it's up to the FCC to iron out legislation that could mandate optimal Internet speeds across the board or put into law rules that allow companies to purchase prioritized Internet connections.
A recent poll by The Internet Association found approximately 76 percent of respondents strongly disagreed with prioritized Internet access and the slowing down of connection speeds for one entity in favor of another.
"There is only one Internet and the FCC's open Internet rules should recognize that. No matter how users choose to connect to the Internet, net neutrality rules should apply universally on both wireless and wireline networks," said Michael Beckerman, president and CEO of The Internet Association.
The Internet Association's poll surveyed a sample of 550 US citizens and its calibrating questions showed respondents were a fair representation of most Americans.
Most of the respondents used smartphones and the distribution of wireless carriers chosen by the group matched the ranking of the US' top four companies.
When asked if they were familiar with net neutrality, roughly 45 percent of the poll's participants responded with "not at all familiar" and 103 individuals skipped over the question. Roughly 10 percent stated they were slightly familiar with it, around 20 percent stated they were moderately familiar , about 11 percent where very familiar and nearly 13 percent were extremely familiar.
While roughly 45 percent of respondents had little or no idea what net neutrality is, and about a fifth of participants skipped the question all together, the majority polled favor a free an open Internet.
Roughly 67 percent of the respondents disagreed with at least part of the following statement: Your wireless Internet provider should have the ability to block access to websites or apps operating in compliance with the law.
"High speed Internet access is a necessity to compete in today's economy," said Beckerman. "Connecting through a mobile device is often the only way low-income Americans get online. Creating enforceable net neutrality rules that cover both wired and wireless connections ensures that all Americans have access to an uncensored Internet."