Users Expect Open Internet Access

    March 18, 2009

The majority (91%) of Internet users expect their Internet service provider to avoid blocking or limiting their service, according to a new survey commissioned by Google, Yahoo and Skype.

The news comes as the European Parliament and EU governments are considering a major telecoms reform package. Some elements of the package could affect users rights by allowing ISPs to limit access to Web sites or applications, or to prioritize some Internet traffic in favor of their own partner’s traffic.

Nigel Jackson
Nigel Jackson

"EU lawmakers should make sure that national authorities have the powers they need to act in cases where traffic management by telecommunication companies constitute unnecessary, discriminatory and/or anti-competitive behavior," the companies said in a joint statement.

The survey was carried out by market research firm Synovate that polled 944 consumers in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Among those who have recently switched ISPs, the research found that having access to more advanced services was a primary reason for many online consumers. More than two-thirds of respondents regularly use online banking, online shopping, video streaming and a variety of forms of online communication. On average, consumers conduct about 8 different online activities.

"Consumers clearly think that they should have access to all legitimate sites and services online. They do not want their access blocked or limited. However, most are unaware that their ISP may be restricting access to such services in any way," said Synovate head Nigel Jackson.