While the FCC
has come under fire for its stance on net neutrality of late
, it has also been on the offense against ISPs
. For example, the agency has stated that it will look into the bad service finger-pointing
between Netflix and Verizon in hopes of adjudicating the dispute and discerning the underlying problems, and it’s also giving ISPs a warning about their level of transparency.
“Consumers deserve to get the broadband service they pay for,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in a Rule Enforcement Advisory
. “The FCC’s transparency rule requires that consumers get the information they need to make informed choices about the broadband services they purchase.”
The FCC Commission, working for you (sometimes)!
He further stated that the FCC expects complete transparency from ISPs and intends to hold those companies accountable when they fail to divulge accurate information about their services.
This requirement falls under the Open Internet Transparency Rule, which was designed to help consumers choose their provider armed with detailed information about service performance, quality, and cost. For businesses looking to subscribe to broadband Internet, the rule also helps them make plans around the type and level of Internet service they can expect. Violators can expect a fine from the FCC.
The agency, however, didn’t state explicitly how it would go about policing and enforcing these rules, which is unfortunate because as everyone who’s ever subscribed to an ISP knows, it’s commonplace to receive far less in terms of speed than you actually pay for, and bills are far too often more than promised.
Hopefully this announcement is more than just political bluster designed to take heat off of Wheeler and the FCC for its unpopular stance on net neutrality.