CNS Plans Formal Net Neutrality Complaint

Barry Bahrami of Commercial Network Services says he is planning to file a formal network neutrality complaint against Time Warner Cable after the FCC staff "closed the ticket" on its informal complaint against the cable operator, which he filed back in June.

Bahrami supplied the following final FCC response to his informal complaint.

Hi Barry,

The goal of the FCC’s informal complaint process is to make it easy for consumers to file complaints about telecommunications services and for service providers to address those complaints. This process also helps to ensure that, even when a service provider’s actions do not violate any applicable Commission rule, the provider knows how its customers feel about practices and policies that they believe are harmful to them.

In this instance, however, we regret that you were not satisfied with attempts by FCC staff to facilitate a more satisfactory resolution of the underlying issue. At this point, you might want to contact the company directly to see if you and the company can arrive at a resolution that is moreacceptable to you. You will receive no further status on your complaint from FCC staff.

Asked what the FCC had done to facilitate a resolution, he said "[N]othing really. Just a ticket system and then suddenly the ticket was closed without comment or opportunity to comment, etc. I could not help but feel let down in a big way."

The FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs bureau tracks and tickets such complaints, and provides informal mediation "as appropriate."

Bahrami is complaining that TWC's paid-peering policies adversely impact Internet user's experience of CNS' San Diego web cam feeds unless CNS is willing to pay for a "fast lane."

TWC has countered that its interconnection practices are "not only 'just and reasonable' as required by the FCC, but consistent with the practices of all major ISPs and well-established industry standards. We are confident that the FCC will reject any complaint that is premised on the notion that every edge provider around the globe is entitled to enter into a settlement-free peering arrangement."

Since the FCC's new network neutrality rules went into effect June 12, the commission is treating interconnection issues as potential network neutrality violations under Title II. The Enforcement Bureau will consider formal complaints on a case-by-case basis.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.