CES Tech-Enthusiasts Say: Poll
Attendees of the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas strongly agree minimal government regulation and taxation are key to reaching all Americans with broadband Internet, according to the results of an informal survey conducted at the conference by the Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA).
Out of six potential answers related to how the government should ensure universal broadband availability and adoption, 31 percent of 259 survey respondents chose “Minimize regulation, taxation and government oversight of innovators, entrepreneurs and private companies” as the most important. This result points to a belief among the tech-savvy attendees of CES that a light regulatory touch could spur innovation, whereas heavy-handed regulation and bureaucratic red tape could stifle the investment and creativity that led to some of today’s greatest technology inventions, many of which were featured at the world-renowned convention.
“The results of this informal poll offer an interesting snapshot of how experts and tech enthusiasts believe that keeping government control over technologies in check is crucial to protecting the innovative and entrepreneurial spirits within this key sector of the economy,” said IIA Co-Chairman Bruce Mehlman. “Many of the survey respondents likely understand from first-hand experience that aggressive government interventions too often shackle innovation and are outdated before they even take effect due to the rapidly-evolving nature of the industry.”
“Although respondents clearly oppose the government imposing regulations on the telecom sector, the IIA strongly supports the Federal Communication Commission’s efforts to formulate an effective National Broadband Plan,” said Mehlman. “We encourage the Commission to move full speed ahead with important initiatives like freeing up spectrum and reforming the Universal Service Fund.”
“More spectrum available for new applications, devices and commercial innovations” garnered the support of one in five respondents (21%). Results for the additional possible selections were as follows:
Nearly two in five (19%) respondents chose “Reduce taxes on telecom services that are baked into consumers’ broadband bills.”
“Reform Universal Service rules to start subsidizing broadband and stop subsidizing plain old telephone service” was chosen by 15 percent of those polled.
Less than 10 percent (8%) of CES attendees said the government should “Pass net neutrality regulations that set limits on ISPs’ management of broadband networks” to ensure universal broadband availability and adoption.”
Six percent of those surveyed selected “Support digital literacy campaigns that educate communities of color and citizens with less.”
The survey was conducted at the IIA booth at CES 2010, which took place from January 7-10, 2010 in Las Vegas. The IIA hosted a “Cyberlounge,” where visitors were asked to answer one poll question and take a bandwidth calculator test. The booth also featured the IIA H2O video, which equates a byte of data with a drop of water and illustrates the volume of data traveling over the Internet with various online activities. Both the bandwidth calculator test and H2O video are available via the IIA website: https://internetinnovation.org/library/bandwidth_calculator/.