Thursday, July 30, 2015

One Clear Way Net Neutrality Rules are Driving Up ISP Costs

One practical concern some had about reclassifying Internet access as a common carrier service was that there would be an explosion of complaints, leading to higher overhead costs simply to deal with the administrative compliance.

That appears to be happening.

In just the first month that net neutrality regulations have been in effect, consumers have filed about 2,000 complaints to the Federal Communications Commission against Comcast, AT&T, and other Internet service providers, according to records obtained by National Journal.

Officials in the FCC's Enforcement Bureau can choose whether to investigate any of the complaints for further action or penalties.

Justified or not, Internet service providers must respond to both the FCC and the complaining consumer within 30 days.

Harold Feld, the senior vice president of Public Knowledge, a consumer-advocacy group, acknowledged that most of the complaints probably do not identify real violations of the FCC's net-neutrality rules.

ISPs will have to hope the torrent of new paperwork does not become an avalanche. All the costs of responding will be borne by legal and support staffs. And all those costs will have to be recovered from ISP subscribers and business partners.

You can read the complaints, if you like.

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