FCC Appoints Open Internet Ombudsperson

On June 15, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) appointed Ms. Parul P. Desai to serve as its first “Open Internet Ombudsperson.”

The FCC created the position of Open Internet Ombudsperson to assist consumers, businesses, and organizations with open Internet complaints and questions and to ensure that those parties have effective access to Commission processes. In her new role, Ms. Desai will be the primary point of contact for formal and informal questions or complaints pertaining to the FCC’s open Internet rules, most of which became effective on June 12, 2015. However, she will not act as an advocate for particular issues or interests, or as an official who must be approached for approval regarding open Internet issues.

In addition to serving as a point of contact for outside parties, the FCC outlined a number of other potential roles for the Ombudsperson, including:

  • Conducting trend analyses of open Internet complaints and market conditions;
  • Investigating and bringing attention to open Internet concerns, and referring matters to the Enforcement Bureau for potential further investigation; and
  • Coordinating with other bureaus and offices, as appropriate, to facilitate review of inquiries and complaints regarding broadband services.
The Open Internet Ombudsperson will be housed in the CGB, where Ms. Desai currently serves as Assistant Bureau Chief and Director of Consumer Engagement.

Additional information about how to contact the Open Internet Ombudsperson is available in the FCC’s Public Notice announcing Ms. Desai’s appointment.