The FCC is Ignoring 50,000 Consumer Complaints as it Moves Forward to Repeal Net Neutrality

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[Commentary] The Federal Communications Commission’s record is missing key evidence: over 50,000 Net Neutrality consumer complaints submitted to the FCC between 2015 and 2017. National Hispanic Media Coalition commissioned an expert report analyzing these documents and outlining why the documents represent key evidence that the FCC must incorporate as part of its official record. In the draft Order released on November 22 (the day before Thanksgiving), the FCC included a denial of NHMC’s Motion requesting that (1) the FCC incorporate the Net Neutrality consumer complaints and related documents as part of the record, and (2) that the FCC set a new comment cycle to allowing stakeholders adequate time to analyze and comment on the evidence disclosed by the FCC. The FCC went further than just denying the Motion, and also stated that they would not consider the documents in the proceeding. To be clear, the documents that NHMC obtained as part of the FOIA request show consumers experiencing harms remedied through Title II protections. Yet, the FCC staunchly refuses to consider its own evidence, which it has had in its possession all along, as it moves to repeal the rules that protect American consumers from experiencing further harms.

I am troubled, and you should be too by the great lengths to which the FCC has gone to exclude these documents as part of the official Net Neutrality record. But in many ways this is not surprising — as the expert report shows, the Net Neutrality consumer complaints and related documents reveal a narrative that runs contrary to the FCC’s proposal to reclassify broadband as an information service. Instead of ignoring this relevant evidence, the FCC must incorporate and consider it before it moves forward on December 14th to repeal Net Neutrality. Anything less flies in the face of the law and consumers who looked to the FCC to protect their access to an open Internet.

[Carmen Scurato is vice president, policy & general counsel for the National Hispanic Media Coalition]


The FCC is Ignoring 50,000 Consumer Complaints as it Moves Forward to Repeal Net Neutrality