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FCC appoints an ombudsperson to hear your complaints


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As it promised when it made broadband a "Title II" utility, the FCC now has an ombudsperson in charge of "open internet questions and complaints." The regulator appointed Parul P. Desai to the job, who previously worked as communications policy counsel for the non-profit society behind Consumer Reports. If you've got a beef, you'll be able to contact her office by phone, email or the "file a complaint" section of the FCC's consumer complaints website. Chairman Tom Wheeler first dropped the idea of an ombudsperson last year when he decided to forge ahead with new net neutrality rules.

The FCC said that "a wide array of commenters expressed support for the FCC's establishing this resource" during the public comment period of the open internet debate. The ombudsperson will "ensure that consumers... have effective access to the (FCC's) processes that protect their interests." However, it's bound to be an extra pain for TWC, Verizon et. al., given how much hatred consumers have for broadband providers. When the idea was proposed last, year, AT&T said "(such) regulation would strangle investment, hobble innovation, and put government regulators in charge of nearly every aspect of Internet-based services ."

Of course, the telecoms haven't given up; in fact, they've already sued to shut down the new net neutrality rules. When it comes time to fight those legal battles, we imagine the ombudsperson -- with a formal record of complaints against Telecoms -- will come in handy for the FCC.

*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.

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