How to File a Net Neutrality Complaint

Ars Technica details how one goes about filing a complaint against a service provider under the new net neutrality rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission last week. The short answer is that for both individuals and corporate entities, filing a complaint can be an arduous task.

First, there are two kinds of complaints that can be filed: informal and formal. The FCC lets end users and "edge providers" file informal complaints through its Consumer and Government Affairs informal complaint form. Informal complaints are easier to file.

The FCC says that its Consumer Division will soon "make available resources explaining these rules and facilitating the filing of informal complaints." I hope that the process gets streamlined so that regular every-day consumers can do so without complications..

Formal complaints can be filed by anyone but costs money. A formal complaint claiming some sort of violation has a $200 filing fee attached to it. Formal complaints are also a lot more complicated – they feature a long, drawn-out process featuring "specific procedural, appearance, and docket filing rules," according to Ars. As they note, lawyers would probably involved in this process.

Complainants also "bear the burden of proving some kind of violation" in the FCC rules. For their part, broadband providers "must answer each claim with particularity and furnish facts, supported by documentation or affidavit, demonstrating the reasonableness of the challenged practice."

A deeper explanation of the process can be found at Ars Technica It’s an interesting read even of you don’t care about net neutrality in its current form.

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