Rep. McNerney Says FCC Complaint Data Is Insufficient

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.)
Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) (Image credit: U.S. Congress)

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) wants FCC chairman Ajit Pai to provide more granular data on complaints to the FCC about internet and phone service during the pandemic.

During Sept. 17 testimony in an FCC oversight hearing in the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Pai said he would make information about those complaints publicly available, said McNerney, and on Oct. 23, the FCC posted general information on its Web site.

But he said the lack of specific information about the complaints, including how they had been responded to or resolved, was a problem. "It is concerning that more than seven months into the pandemic you have still not been fully upfront with the public about the problems that consumers have been facing,” McNerney said.

In a letter to Pai Thursday (Oct. 29), McNerney said he wanted the following by Nov. 13:

1. "For each individual consumer complaint received by the FCC relating to internet or phone service during the pandemic, the text of the complaint (properly de-identified to protect the individual’s privacy), whether the complaint was resolved, and how long it took to resolve the complaint;

2. "The number of complaints identified above in (1) that were referred to the Enforcement Bureau or other bureaus in the agency and what further action was taken with respect to each referred complaint; and
3. "With respect to the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, the number of instances in which the provider did not keep the promises it made under the Pledge."

"While your agency has made available a summary of the complaints on its website, the information that has been shared is incomplete," he wrote the chairman. "The American people deserve to know about the specific problems that are arising, whether the problems are being resolved, and how long it is taking to resolve them. Unfortunately, none of this information is publicly posted on your agency’s website.”

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.