) -- Consumers aren't in favor of the Federal Communications Commission regulating the Internet as it does radio and television.

In a survey conducted by Rasmussen following the FCC's vote to pass new open Internet rules regarding net neutrality, only 21% of U.S. voters came out in favor of the FCC's involvement.

On Dec. 21, the FCC passed a new set of net neutrality rules that prohibit broadband providers from blocking consumers from lawful Web sites or Internet traffic.

>>FCC Passes Net Neutrality Rules

Despite strong opposition from the two Republicans on the five-member commission, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski and his two fellow Democrats on the board passed the rules with a 3-2 vote.

In Rasmussen's Dec. 23 telephone survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters, 54% said they are opposed to the FCC's regulation of the Internet. Only 21% said they were in favor and 25% said they are not sure.

By a 52% to 27% margin, voters believe free market competition would protect Internet users better than rules and regulation.

The survey also shows that voters fear imposed regulation by the FCC and other regulatory groups will be used to promote a political agenda. 56% of voters believe that the FCC will push a political agenda while 28% disagree and believe the commission would regulate in an unbiased manner.

Through the net neutrality regulations, Internet service providers will be required to treat all information traveling over broadband networks equally and wireless providers will be prohibited from unjustly discriminating in transmitting lawful traffic over a consumer's wireline broadband Internet service.

The rules will prevent network operators from discriminatory pricing against Internet traffic that might offer competitive services. Internet carriers such as


(CMCSA) - Get Report



(VZ) - Get Report

will not be able to block consumers from using


(NFLX) - Get Report


-- Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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