Imagine if you took every single gripe you’ve had with Verizon over the past five years — the time it blocked Nexus 7 tablets for five months; the time it forced you to pay $20 per month for tethering; the time it tried to make you use a mobile wallet app called “ISIS” — and finally put your foot down. For a year, you spend free moments holed up in library stacks, speaking with experts, and researching and writing a sprawling legal complaint about the company’s many, many misdeeds. And then you file it all with the FCC, hoping to get some payback.
That’s exactly what Alex Nguyen did. And one day very soon, Verizon may have to answer for it.
Nguyen is a recent college graduate living in Santa Clara, California. And for much of 2015, he spent his time digging through years of Verizon’s public statements and actions, assembling more than 300 citations into a 112-page document that could well have been his master’s thesis. (In fact, he studied computer science.) The document catalogs a dozen questionable actions Verizon has taken since 2012, assembling a body of evidence in an attempt to prove that the carrier has violated a number of open internet protections.
“CARRIERS HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOREVER. VERIZON, IN PARTICULAR, HAS BEEN ONE OF MOST BRAZEN.”
Finally, when he wrapped up in the middle of last year, Nguyen paid a $225 filing fee and handed his complaint over to the FCC. It would end up being the only formal complaint filed under the net neutrality rules.