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Net Neutrality Is About To Die, But One Man Could Still Save It
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12 Aug 2017 04:52 AM EST

With the FCC Ajit Pai’s crusade against Net Neutrality nearing its grim end, many have begun to lose hope that it can be stopped. He has refused to hold a debate. He’s also dismissed huge numbers of complaints filed by citizens and accepted reports that were likely falsified. Despite all that, one man is still fighting. Alex Nguyen of Santa Clara, California has spent a good chunk of time on a massive 112-page filing against Verizon, citing more than 300 violations of net neutrality and consumer protection rules. While anyone can comment publicly on FCC proceedings, Nguyen’s complaint is the only one formal one. Meaning that he saved up for the hefty $225 filing fee and is seeking legal retribution against Verizon for its many crimes against customers. There are three options for the enforcement arm of the federal agency — they can dismiss the complaint, fine Verizon, or force the company to change its business practices. Given how long and extensive Nguyen’s document is, it’d be a bit odd if the FCC didn’t act. What’s troubling is that the relative lack of formal complaints has been used to justify charging ahead with the destruction of net neutrality. So far, most of the push to save these rules have been through informal complaints. They don’t do much and, with folks like Pai at the helm, they are routinely ignored in a dogged pursuit of a single, all-consuming goal — removing regulations so that consumers suffer and ISPs rake in even bigger dollars. Formal complaints cannot be tossed out so easily, though, and are handled largely by lawyers. Unfortunately, it won’t stop any rule changes the FCC is considering, so Nguyen probably won’t save the Open Internet rules on its own, but the fact that there’s at least one complaint the agency can’t sweep away easily is cause for hope.

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