The FCC Wants Your Broadband Horror Stories: You Know What to Do

Chao LiuEFFCreative Commons

(EFF) – At long last, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is asking for your broadband experiences. When you submit your experiences here, you will let the FCC know whether you have been adequately served by your internet service provider (ISP). The feedback you provide informs future broadband availability as well as funding, standards, and federal policy.

Traditionally, the FCC credulously relied on monopolistic ISPs to self-report coverage and service, which allowed these giant businesses to paint a deceptive, deeply flawed portrait of broadband service where everything was generally just fine. It was not fine. It is not fine. The pandemic demonstrated how millions are left behind or stuck with second-rate service, in a digital age where every aspect of a thriving, prosperous life turns on the quality of your broadband. Just look at the filings from Frontier’s recent bankruptcy and see how mismanagement, misconduct, and poor service are standard industry practices. It’s not just Frontier, either: recurring horror stories of ISPs not delivering upon their basic promise of service by upload throttling customers or even harassing customers seeking to cancel service demonstrate that ISPs don’t think of us as customers, but rather as captives to their monopolies.

Last Wednesday, the White House announced a plan to invest $100 billion in building and improving high-speed broadband infrastructure. It’s overdue. Last February, Consumer Reports released a survey which found that 75% of Americans say they rely on the internet to carry out their daily activities seven days a week. EFF has long advocated for broadband for all, and today we are part of a mass movement demanding universal and affordable access for all people so that they may be full participants in twenty-first-century society.

Trump’s FCC, under the chairmanship of former Verizon executive Ajit Pai, threw away citizen comments opposing the 2017 net neutrality repeal. It’s taken years to learn what was in those comments.

Now that the FCC is finally seriously asking for citizen comments, this is your chance to let them know just how badly you’ve been treated, and to demand an end to the long, miserable decades when the monopolistic ISPs got away with charging sky-high rates for some of the worse service among the advanced broadband markets. We all deserve better.

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Chao LiuEFFCreative Commons


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