50,000 net neutrality complaints were excluded from FCC’s repeal docket

Source: 
Author: 

The Federal Communications Commission docket for its repeal of network neutrality rules is missing something: more than 50,000 complaints that Internet customers have filed against their Internet service providers since the rules took effect in 2015. The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) was able to obtain the text of net neutrality complaints from the FCC via a public records request but says it has not been able to convince the FCC to include them in the repeal docket. "It seems to me that the commission is going to great lengths to ignore these documents and not incorporate them into the record," said NHMC General Counsel Carmen Scurato.

Scurato and NHMC Special Policy Advisor Gloria Tristani went to the FCC headquarters Dec 1 and spoke to an FCC employee who handles the public commenting system. Scurato said, "[We] hand-delivered two filings with USB flash drives, one of which included all of the documents that the FCC produced in response to our FoIA requests. We were told by staff at the FCC that they would not upload the documents in the USB flash drive and instead would put a note in the record saying that the flash drive was available for inspection at the commission." Scurato said they also asked if the FCC has any official guidance for including such documents in the record but didn't get anything in return. "I asked if it would have been different had we printed out all the pages, and she said that honestly no, they wouldn't upload that either—maybe a few samples, and would have included that same note [about the documents being available for inspection at the FCC office]," Scurato said. That note about documents being available for inspection apparently isn't on the docket yet. A spokesperson for FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's said that "the NHMC issue is fully addressed" in the net neutrality repeal proposal, starting on paragraph 335.


50,000 net neutrality complaints were excluded from FCC’s repeal docket