Survey on Internet attitudes
The dataset on Alternative Internet survey is part of the research on Alternative Internets carried out in the project netCommons: Network Infrastructure as Commons H2020 EU project (Grant Number 688768, project URL: http://netcommons.eu).
The netCommons project aspires to study, support and further promote an emerging trend, community-based networking and communication services that can offer a complement, or even a sustainable alternative, to the global Internet’s current dominant model. Community networks not only provide citizens with access to a neutral, bottom-up network infrastructure, which naturally increases the transparency of data flow, but they also represent an archetype of networked collective cooperation and action, mixing common or communal ownership and management of an infrastructure with a balanced set of services supported by the local stakeholders. Community networks, however, are complex systems that require multiple skills to thrive: technical, legal, socio-economic, and political. They face many challenges and they also need abstractions, models and practical tools to grow and produce a higher beneficial impact on our society.
The Alternative Internet survey examines the concerns about internet usage that can be identified among sufficiently competent and regular internet users. Such concerns provide useful input both to community networks and to other stakeholders such as policy-makers and regulators who play significant roles in the telecommunications and internet landscape and, consequently, need to take informed steps as to the regulation of the internet and the ways in which community networks can be part of this landscape. In addition, the survey results provide input as to the attitudes of those internet users regarding the possibility of using community networks.
The online survey run on platform limesurvey, which is built on open source code, whilst it also presents convenient functionality, including the possibility of anonymisation of the user. It run for seven months (from June 2017 until 22 January 2018) and resulted in 1000 completed online questionnaires. Respondents were targeted through specific mailing lists and have included: academics/university researchers, university administrators, IT professionals in products and services, and students, while some clerical workers have also filled in the questionnaire. The selected groups were assumed to be both regular and competent internet users and therefore suitable for providing rich and relevant responses on Internet usage.
The data presented are both quantitative and qualitative. Whilst the full results are included in the above mentioned file (Survey_357528_Survey_on_Internet_Attitudes.pdf ), we have also produced a number of graphs, as described in the relevant README file.
The data are responses to different categories of questions.
Question QA1 is the relevant consent form.
Questions QB1, QB2, QB3, QB5 and QB6 are about some dimensions of the Internet usage of the respondent. QB8A asks the respondent to grade their skills on a number of different Internet uses.
Question QC1A asks whether the user has experienced privacy violations, with certain options provided as answers. QC1B requests more details about the kind of privacy violation experienced.
Questions QC2A, QC2B, QC2C, QC2D, QC2E address privacy concerns, while questions QC3A, QC3b, QC3C are about possible steps taken by the respondent to address such concerns. QC4 is about consideration of alternative platforms.
Questions QC5, QC7, QC8 provide a measure of advertising and commercialisation concerns, while QC9 is about consideration of alternatives to address such concerns.
Questions QC10A, QC11A, QC11B, QC12A, QC12B are on monopolies, and examine attitudes towards the dominant presence of an Internet service provider, social networking site, or search engine. QC13 is about consideration of alternatives to address monopoly concerns.
Questions QC15, QC16, QC17, QC18 and QC18B relate to the theme of Internet governance and electronic democracy; more specifically on: taxation of large Internet corporations, equality of access and skills (digital divide), unequal online visibility on social networks, and access to online content.
Questions QD1, QD2 and QD2B explicitly ask respondents to consider community networks as an alternative and also seeks to elicit their views as to the potential of such networks.
Finally, questions QE1 to QE8 include demographics of the respondents, as well as certain attitudes that they might have towards life and society, which might be indicative of the likelihood to support community initiatives.
The elaboration of the data available here (mainly the analysis of open, qualitative answers) has been published as netCommons Deliverable 5.4 "Alternative Internet's Political Economy" available at: https://www.netcommons.eu/?q=content/alternative-internets-political-economy
The quantitative answers are available through the netCommons website at: https://www.netcommons.eu/?q=survey
For any information concerning the Survey, please contact Dimitris Boucas, email: D.Boucas(at)westminster.ac.uk and Maria Michalis, email: M.Michalis(at)westminster.ac.uk.
For details about the quantitative data processing, please contact Renato Lo Cigno, web: http://disi.unitn.it/locigno, email: locigno(at)disi.unitn.it.
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