“No one should see Washington close its doors to everyday consumers looking for assistance in a marketplace that can be bewildering to navigate.” A spokesperson for Rosenworcel said earlier Wednesday that she was talking with other commissioners about changes to the proposal ahead of Thursday's meeting. (D-New Jersey) and Mike Doyle (D-Pennsylvania) sent a letter to FCC chair Ajit Pai arguing that the proposed changes would "direct FCC staff to only pass consumers’ informal complaints on to the company and then advise consumers that they file a formal complaint for a $225 fee if they are not satisfied with the company’s response."An FCC spokesperson told WIRED that the changes were only meant to clarify existing policy.
The FCC's website explains that it does not take action on individual informal complaints, but "the collective data we receive helps us keep a pulse on what consumers are experiencing, may lead to investigations and serves as a deterrent to the companies we regulate.""If the [FCC's] Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau spots a troubling trend on any issue, it can refer the matter to the [FCC's] Enforcement Bureau, which can launch a broader investigation," the spokesman said.
Schatz asserted that “allowing ISPs to operate in a rule-free zone without any government oversight is reckless.”Eric Null, Policy Counsel at the Open Technology Institute, similarly argued that repealing the FCC rule allows for greater intrusion into sensitive customer data, precisely because it relies on the FTC’s privacy standards.
Reportedly describing the FTC regime as a weaker and broader “lowest common denominator” approach, Null explained that the reach of the FTC’s regulation would depend on the extent to which an ISP is acting deceptively—that is, whether the ISP is informing its customers of its practices.
But critics argue that the changes could have discouraged FCC staff from doing even that.
The proposal would have removed language from the FCC’s rules specifying that the commission could contact a complainant about its "review and disposition."In this context, "disposition" means "resolution." Critics of the change worried that unless the agency’s rules explicitly allow for review and action on complaints, the FCC wouldn't have the authority or obligation to do so.
In contrast, the FCC’s regulatory mandate over ISPs gives it greater ability to ensure that privacy practices are fair, as opposed to simply making sure that ISPs inform consumers about their policies.
The “opt-in” consent requirement of the FCC rule was originally scheduled to take effect on December 4, 2017.
By doing away with so-called net neutrality, critics say, the agency opened the door to broadband companies blocking access to certain websites or slowing down Internet speeds unless users pay a fee—a process known as “throttling.” RELATED: After Deadly Crash, Cyclists Form Human Barrier to Protect Bike Lane Rob Bliss, a video director for the website Seriously. He then mounted a Go Pro to his helmet and proceeded to ride his bike—slowly—in the one remaining lane.
Cars got backed up waiting for an opportunity to pass.