Raleigh, N.C. – Over half of North Carolina voters, 54 percent, oppose cities building broadband internet systems that would be controlled by the city and supported with tax dollars according to a new poll released today by the Civitas Institute.
Fifty-four percent of voters said they oppose cities building a broadband system, 34 percent support it, and 11 percent said they do not know or have no opinion. Voters from rural areas oppose the idea by a 53 percent – 33 percent margin. Suburban (54 percent oppose – 36 percent support) and urban voters (58 percent oppose – 31 percent support) also oppose the government undertaking such projects.
“Even rural voters who were cited often in the debate by those opposing this legislation, oppose having cities build and control internet systems,” said Civitas Institute President Francis De Luca. “Opposition to this proposal may be a result of experience and belief that government often fails in efficiently delivering services.”
Legislation that would prohibit municipal broadband systems from being built, House Bill 129 “Level Playing Field/Local Government Competition,” passed the state House last week. It is now in the Senate Commerce Committee.
The Civitas Poll is the only monthly live-caller poll of critical issues facing North Carolina. For more information on Civitas polling see http://www.nccivitas.org/category/poll/.
Full text of question:
“Some cities want to build broadband systems to deliver internet content to homes and businesses. This system would be controlled by the city and could be supported by property and other city taxes, as well as additional debt to build the systems. City officials say this is needed to compete with the private systems that they feel are not doing a good job. Would you support or oppose cities doing this?”
Total Support – 34%
Total Oppose – 54%
Strongly Support – 17%
Somewhat Support – 17%
Somewhat Oppose – 14%
Strongly Oppose – 40%
Don’t Know/ No Opinion – 11%
Refused – 1%
Click here for full results and crosstabs.
This poll of 600 registered general election voters in North Carolina was conducted March 14-16 by National Research, Inc. of Holmdel, NJ. All respondents were part of a fully representative sample of registered voters in North Carolina. For purposes of this study, voters interviewed had to have voted in two of the past four general elections or were newly registered to vote since 2008.
The confidence interval associated with a sample of this size is such that: 95 percent of the time, results from 600 interviews (registered voters) will be within +-4% of the “True Values.” True Values refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every person in North Carolina who had voted in two of the past four general elections or were newly registered to vote since 2008.