FCC consumer database includes 22,000 net neutrality complaints

FCC consumer database includes 22,000 net neutrality complaints
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Consumers have filed more than 22,000 net neutrality complaints against companies since Nov. 2014, according to Federal Communications Commission data released Wednesday.

The FCC on Wednesday unveiled its new consumer complaint database, which includes general details on 489,000 consumer complaints made in the past year and a half.

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Overall, the commission receives between 25,000 and 30,000 complaints about phone, internet, telemarketing and radio issues. 

On internet issues, net neutrality is the most popular complaint, taking about 24 percent of the pie. Since late 2014, the FCC received 20,865 complaints about net neutrality about internet service providers. It also received 1,311 net neutrality complaints related to smartphones.

The database does not list the companies that consumers complained about.

The FCC is touting the new database as a move toward greater transparency. Last year, the commission started releasing some details about the robocall and telemarketing complaints it receives — by far the most popular single issue for consumers to write in about.

The database allows the public to sort through the complaints by date, issue and a number of other factors. It also allows people to create graphs around the data which is expected to be updated daily.

The database only contains topline data on each complaint like the general issue area, the date it was filed and the zip code and state where it originated. The database does not contain the actual text of the complaint or the name of the person who sent it in. It also does not contain the names of companies that are the subject of those complaints.

The FCC says the data can help steer the commission toward policy goals, initiate enforcement action or allow companies to resolve issues.

"This data represents information selected by the consumer. The FCC does not verify the facts alleged in these complaints," The FCC warned.

Most consumer complaint data is already open to the public but not alway easy to obtain. Anyone can file a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain data on full complaints.

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