Scientific Opinion Poll: Small Business Owners Oppose Repeal of Net Neutrality
Small employers oppose the Federal Communications Commission’s decision late last year to repeal rules that leveled the playing field for small firms by keeping the internet free and open
Washington, DC—A scientific opinion poll released today found a majority of small business owners feel the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 2017 decision to repeal rules intended to prevent internet service providers from slowing down or blocking certain content, or requiring customers to pay extra fees to access some content, is bad for small firms.
The survey, conducted by Chesapeake Beach Consulting on behalf of Small Business Majority, found 56 percent of small business owners oppose the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality, with almost 4 in 10 (39 percent) strongly opposing the repeal. What’s more, 70 percent of small business owners feel they are at a disadvantage compared to large corporations due to their size and market power.
“I don’t have the money to pay an internet service provider to guarantee my website will load quickly for all users, so I’m concerned the end of net neutrality means customers will buy from retailers that have the resources to pay for faster service,” said John Duda, co-owner of Red Emma’s, a cooperative bookstore and restaurant, in Baltimore, Md. “Additionally, if my internet service provider slows load times for or blocks access to my web content, we’ll be up against more than just larger book sellers or restaurants–we’re suddenly competing against any website that loads quickly because those are the ones that will draw people’s attention.”
The poll also found nearly half of small businesses (49 percent) say net neutrality is important to the operation of their business, compared to 41 percent that say it is not important. Unsurprisingly, small business owners in the IT sector said net neutrality was very important to their business by a 4:1 ratio.
“This FCC rule change is an existential threat to small business owners who rely on access to an open and fast internet to process orders, market products, contact customers and many other activities involved in running a businesses,” said John Arensmeyer, Small Business Majority Founder & CEO. “Without a fair and open internet, small businesses will be put at a disadvantage when trying to compete with larger corporations that have the resources to ensure their websites receive special prioritization from their internet service providers. As a result, small employers could lose business because their websites might experience longer load times, or their sites could be blocked entirely from reaching consumers.”
The survey reflects interviews of 500 small business owners nationwide with 1-100 employees. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.
For the full poll report, please visit: http://smallbusinessmajority.org/small-businesses-oppose-repeal-net-neutrality
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to ensure America’s entrepreneurs are a key part of an inclusive, equitable and diverse economy. We actively engage our network of more than 55,000 small business owners in support of public policy solutions and deliver information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about key issues impacting small businesses and freelancers. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.