About 63 percent of respondents to a YouGov survey say they support an active approach to maintaining quality of experience.
That includes support for optimization of data traffic and the differentiation of mobile broadband services. In other words, the very “packet discrimination” that network neutrality supporters say they want.
Between 30 percent and 63 percent of respondents even agreed they would be open to pay a small fee for carrier measures that meant a better broadband experience. Net neutrality supporters say they want to outlaw Internet access “fast lanes.” It appears users want them.
Fully 74 percent of U.S. mobile users say they have experienced quality issues when using smartphones and laptops on the mobile broadband networks, YouGov and Acision report. Slow speeds, poor network coverage, inability to get connected and lost connections are among the top reported problems.
The most-encountered problems were slow speeds (60 percent), poor network coverage (35 percent), inability to get connected (29 percent) and connection loss (29 percent).
About 65 percent of those surveyed were unaware that in many networks just a small number of users generate over 80 percent of broadband traffic, causing slow download speeds and connection problems.
When those surveyed were made aware of the issues surrounding the fair distribution of bandwidth, 63 percent responded positively to an active approach to fairness aimed at distributing bandwidth between as many people as possible to ease congestion to benefit all users.
Service providers call that traffic shaping. Net neutrality supporters call that “discrimination.” It appears users agree with service providers, at least in this survey.
The research also confirmed the popularity of video services, with almost half of consumers questioned (49 percent) accessing video sites using their mobile connection.
As you might expect, 78 percent encountered QoE issues such as frequent pauses, and as many as 68 percent experienced these problems on a regular basis. Fully 69 percent would accept an optimization policy that improves performance of a video service.
For example, consumers were supportive of measures carriers could take to improve the quality of mobile video by decreasing video size to enable uninterrupted playback.
Consumers surveyed stated they would be willing to pay a small fee to receive services such as notifications when they have reached a certain spend limit on their mobile broadband service (48 percent), fair distribution of bandwidth between consumers (45 percent), personalization capabilities (46 percent), a bundle sharing plan (46 percent) and the ability to set spending limits on their mobile broadband account (42 percent).
At least according to this survey, mobile subscribers support traffic shaping and other optimization measures, including the opportunity to buy higher grades of service. As we have seen in recent days, consumers often do not want the policies and programs some elites think “are good for people.”