Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Internet users are complaining more about net neutrality-related issues since the FCC voted to repeal the existing net neutrality rules earlier this month, according to the FCC's consumer complaint data.

Why it matters: The FCC allows consumers to submit complaints about a variety of telecom-related problems, from receiving unwanted phone calls to billing fraud. After adopting net neutrality rules in 2015, the FCC added net neutrality to the list of possible gripes, such as slowed-down internet service or content being blocked. The FCC can use those complaints to spot trends or even launch investigations.

Expand chart
Note: Data includes all consumer complaint tickets related to "Open internet/net-neutrality"; Data: Federal Communications Commission; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

The details: According to the data (via the FCC's Consumer Complaint Center), people appear to file more net neutrality complaints when the topic is in the news and people are paying more attention to their internet performance. For example:

  • The complaints spiked to around 11,000 in May 2016, shortly before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the FCC's rules that the telecom industry had sued to stop.
  • Consumers filed more than 6,400 complaints in October 2016, shortly before the 2016 election. Republicans had made clear they would weaken the rules if they took office.
  • A small uptick of complaints took place in April, the same month FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released an initial proposal to roll back the rules.
  • As of Friday, consumers filed 2,388 in December, a sharp increase over the 157 complaints filed in October. The FCC voted to reverse the net neutrality rules on Dec. 14.

How it works: When a consumer files a complaint, the FCC serves the complaint to the telecom provider in question. That company is required to respond to the consumer within 30 days, and must provide the FCC a copy of that response.

  • The FCC is not obligated to act on "informal" complaints (which can be filed for free online), but can choose to look into issues as they arise.
  • The FCC has a separate process for "formal" complaints, which usually involve lawyers, filing fees and specific procedural rules. (More details on the process can be found here.)

Between the lines: It's often difficult for consumers to pinpoint the cause of internet connection issues. Net neutrality supporters will say a rise in informal complaints indicates bad behavior by internet providers without the rules. While the FCC isn't required to investigate such complaints, the agency's new transparency requirements could encourage companies to be forthcoming in their responses to them.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Clean trucks are paving the road to the electric vehicle era

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The electric vehicle revolution is underway, led by the un-sexiest of plug-in models: the commercial truck.

Why it matters: Growing demand for cleaner trucks means 2021 will be a pivotal year for electric vehicles — just not the kind you might have expected.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The fragile recovery

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling but remains remarkably high three weeks before pandemic assistance programs are set to expire. More than 1 million people a week are still filing for initial jobless claims, including nearly 300,000 applying for pandemic assistance.

By the numbers: As of Nov. 14, 20.2 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind, including more than 13.4 million on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs that were created as part of the CARES Act and end on Dec. 26.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The top candidates Biden is considering for key energy and climate roles

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.