Consumers Want Congress to Protect Right to Access Information, Services on Internet

(via Free Press)

January 18, 2006

Mark Cooper, CFA 301-807-1623
Ben Scott, Free Press, 202-265-1490 x 25
Jennifer Fuson, CU 202-462-6262

"WASHINGTON — Two-thirds of Internet users have serious concerns about practices by Internet network owners to block or impair their access to information and services, and the majority of those surveyed support congressional action to prevent this practice, according to a new poll released today by consumer and public interest groups.

The nationally representative survey found that more than 75 percent of Internet users polled are seriously concerned about not being able to freely choose an Internet service provider or being required to pay twice for certain Internet services. Another 70 percent were concerned about providers blocking or impairing their access to Internet services or sites, such as Internet telephone service or online retailers like Fifty-four percent want Congress to take action to ensure that Internet providers are prohibited from engaging in these practices.

'These results show that although consumers believe network owners should provide unfettered access to the Internet, few believe they'll do so unless required by law,' said Mark Cooper, director of research at the Consumer Federation of America and co-author of the report issued by CFA, Consumers Union and Free Press. 'Our findings that consumers view the Internet as an important communications and information service only underscore the danger of discriminatory network practices.'"

Read the rest of the Press Release here.

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