Small Businesses Oppose Repeal of Net Neutrality
In December 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal rules enforcing net neutrality for internet service providers (ISPs). The rules were previously enacted to prevent ISPs from slowing down or blocking certain content, or requiring customers to pay extra fees to access some content. Repealing this rule opens the door for ISPs to charge different rates for certain internet speeds or access to certain content. This rule change threatens America’s small business owners who rely on access to an open and fast, reliable internet to process orders, market their products, contact customers and many other activities involved in running their businesses. New scientific opinion polling finds that small business owners are firmly opposed to these rule changes.
The survey, conducted by Chesapeake Beach Consulting for Small Business Majority, revealed that a majority of small businesses (56%) oppose the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality, with roughly 4 in 10 (39%) strongly opposing the repeal of net neutrality. The poll was an online survey of 500 small business owners nationwide conducted between March 5 and 11, 2018.
Small businesses are increasingly turning to the internet to sell their services and products online and to manage many of the administrative tasks required to run their small business. It’s not surprising then that a plurality of businesses say the principle of net neutrality is important to the operation of the business. Nearly half of small businesses (49%) say it is important, compared to 41% who say it is not important. One in four small businesses say it is very important to the operation of their business. Unsurprisingly, small business owners in the IT sector said net neutrality was very important to their business by a 4:1 ratio.
Small business owners already feel that they compete on an uneven playing field with large corporations. If some businesses are able to pay to speed up or prioritize their services, it will hurt small businesses and start-ups that don’t have the resources to pay for such an advantage. Small business owners clearly disagree with the recent rule changes from the FCC and believe a fair and open internet is important to operating their business.