WASHINGTON, June 12, 2009 - Americans are increasingly supportive of government programs to guarantee universal internet access while remaining wary of regulation, said a Zogby poll released Friday.
Almost half of the 3,030 respondents to the survey - 44 percent - believe universal internet access should be guaranteed by the federal government. Of respondents, 20 percent said they support programs to give Americans personal computers if they lack them.
And more than two-thirds, or 71 percent, say those who lack internet access will be less successful economically than those who regularly go online.
But universal access remains a partisan issue, the survey said. While 78 percent of liberals said the government should make sure the internet is available to all, only 18 percent of conservatives agreed with the statement.
Computer give-aways were less popular on both sides, with only 40 percent of liberals and 7 percent of conservatives supporting the idea.
Americans of all ideologies remain against internet regulation by the government, the survey also noted. Just 17 percent support sales tax on e-commerce, and 78 percent said such a tax woukd "severely hamper online commerce and violate the spirit of the internet as a free exchange."