Groups Push FCC for Net Neutrality Complaint Info

One of the latest inputs in the FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom docket was a request by the National Hispanic Media Coalition and almost two dozen other groups for some output from the FCC.

In a joint motion, the groups want the commission to publicize all open internet complaints, ombudsmen correspondence and ISP responses since the 2015 Open Internet order went into effect in June 2015.

It also wants the commission to set a comment period to allow for public input on what they say would be that "new evidence."

Related: Net Neutrality Comments Keep on Coming

The groups say they are looking for "50,000 open internet consumer complaints, 18,000 carrier responses, 1,500 documents related to the open internet ombudsperson’s interactions with internet users, and 10 spreadsheets containing data for all customer complaints." They had sought that information in two FOIA requests.

The move could delay a vote by the commission on the chairman's proposal to reverse the Title II (common carrier) classification of internet acess and revisit the rules against blocking, throttling and paid prioritization. That would be just fine with the groups, who oppose the reclassification.

NHMC said that in response to the FOIA requests, the FCC has only turned over 823 of the 18,000 ISP responses and none of the attachments to ombudsman correspondence.

Related: Apple Willing to Consider Non-Title II Approach to Net Neutrality

"It is imperative that the Commission incorporate all of the documents produced as well as those still missing into the record, analyze the information, and issue a Public Notice allowing the public the adequate time to review and comment," said Carmen Scurato, director of policy and legal affairs, for NHMC. "Only then will the Commission be able to truly ascertain how the net neutrality rules have impacted consumers."

Free Press, Public Knowledge, Common Cause and the ACLU were among the others who signed on to the motion.

(Photo via Rock1997Image taken on Jan. 18, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 16x9 aspect ratio.)

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.