FCC Broadband Facts Label

The countdown will start again soon for providers to implement consumer broadband labels, sometimes known as broadband nutrition labels because of their resemblance to the labels that appear on food items. Plans were disrupted for several months as the FCC considered changes to its plans, but an order released today details only a few relatively minor changes.

The purpose of the labels is to have clear, easy-to-understand information about broadband services and pricing in a consistent format to enable consumers to easily compare services from different providers. The changes to what was originally planned for the labels came in an order from the FCC.

One of the modifications relaxes provider record-keeping requirements when directing consumers to a label on an alternative sales channel — a modification requested by ACA Connects. The order also clarifies that providers may state “taxes included” when their price already incorporates taxes — a modification requested by wireless association CTIA.

The commission also clarified that service providers making competitive bids in the FCC E-Rate and rural healthcare programs do not need to include a label for enterprise and special access services provided through those programs — a modification requested by a coalition of companies that provide services through those programs.

The commission declined to make some other requested modifications such as request to allow providers to use an “up to” price for certain fees.

The rules will go into effect after the Office of Management and Budget reviews them as part of the required Paperwork Reduction Act analysis. Once that happens, providers with more than 100,000 lines will have six months to implement the labels. Providers with fewer than 100,000 lines will have an additional six months.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act adopted at year-end 2021 required the FCC to implement plans for the broadband nutrition labels. In November 2022, the commission adopted initial rules for the labels, but reconsidered those rules in response to petitions for reconsideration from providers.

“Every consumer needs transparent information when making decisions about what internet service offering makes the most sense for their family or household,” said FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel in a prepared statement today. “No one wants to be hit with charges they didn’t ask for or they did not expect. That’s why Broadband Consumer Labels are so important.”

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One thought on “Broadband ‘Nutrition’ Labels Back on Track With Few Changes

  1. Novel concept, that the consumer be given a clean bill, in readable, and understandable language.. I give it 6 months to be masked in telcomonolith acronyms.

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