Most who say they understand the net neutrality issue say they support it, according to a new study of net neutrality perceptions from research firm GfK.

According to the study, about half (55%) of all U.S. consumers report that they understand the issue of net neutrality – regardless of whether they are following the neutrality debate closely. Among those who say they do understand net neutrality, 72% favor it – 8 points higher than the figure (64%) among those who feel they do not understand the issue.

Net Neutrality Perceptions
The survey also discovered that men are much more likely than women – 61% versus 48% — to say that they understand neutrality; and they are twice as likely (34% versus 17%) to be following neutrality developments in the news and elsewhere. But among those who say they understand neutrality, more women favor it than men (77% versus 68%).

From a political perspective, eight in ten (82%) Democrats who understand net neutrality are in favor of it, as well as 70% of independents and those in other parties. A majority (56%) of Republicans who say they understand the issue also expressed support for maintaining net neutrality.

There was a distinct difference between age groups about the issue. The study found that two-thirds (66%) of 15- to 24-year-olds – whom GfK has dubbed the Now Generation – report understanding net neutrality; that stands out from the older groups – 20 percentage points higher than the 65-plus group, and also above the more established millennials segment (25 to 34 years old), which came in at 57%.

“This suggests that education about even the basics of the issue may be the best weapon for those who would seek to reverse the FCC action,” said Tom Neri, GfK EVP and head of technology and financial services industries accounts, in a prepared statement. “We also see the 15-to-24 age group setting itself apart once again, recording the highest level of neutrality understanding of any generation measured. Clearly, younger consumers know that a lot is at stake for them in this debate.”

Image courtesy of flickr user ITU Pictures.