A new poll by Leger Marketing (commissioned by eBay) finds that Canadians are generally unware of net neutrality issues, yet strongly support the principles that provide the foundation for net neutrality legislation. In particular, the survey found that:
- three in five Canadians concur that ISPs should be required to treat all content, sites and platforms equally.
- two-thirds of Canadians disagree with the proposal that ISPs should be allowed to impose additional fees for access to specific content on the web.
- 76% of Canadians (including 70% of Conservative supporters, 79% Liberal and 86% NDP) believe the federal government should pass a law to confirm the right of Internet consumers to access publicly available Internet applications and content of their choice.
- 77% of Canadians agree that net neutrality policies protect the rights of Internet consumers.
While critics will undoubtedly note that the majority of Canadians were unaware of net neutrality, that has not stopped other groups – including copyright lobby groups and the telcos – from commissioning similar surveys and reporting them as fact. Indeed, the survey's results point again to the lack of transparency within the Canadian marketplace as most consumers can hardly be faulted for being unaware of instances of traffic shaping since ISPs do not disclose such practices. Canadian politicians have long ignored the net neutrality issue on the basis that it does not resonate with the public. The Leger survey suggests that this is simply not the case and that legislative action would find broad public support.