The FCC has scheduled an online hearing on March 11 at 1:30 p.m. ET in advance of making plans for what are being called broadband nutrition labels designed to enable consumers to easily compare broadband offerings from different providers. The hearing will be the first in a series, the FCC said.
The idea for the labels originated several years ago when Tom Wheeler was FCC chairman. The labels garnered the name broadband nutrition labels because initial proposals called for them to resemble the nutrition labels found on food items sold in U.S.
Plans for the label were scrapped when Ajit Pai took over as FCC chairman but came to life again in the infrastructure act that was signed into law late last year.
FCC Broadband Nutrition Labels
According to an FCC public notice, the broadband nutrition label hearings will become part of the record for the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that the commission adopted last month.
The NPRM seeks comment on:
- How consumers evaluate broadband service plans
- Whether the labels designed in 2016 will assist consumers with the purchase process
- Whether those labels should be updated in terms of content and format
- Whether the FCC should provide new guidance about where providers must display the labels
The March 11 hearing aims to “evaluate the effectiveness of the current transparency rule, as required by the Infrastructure Act, and provide the necessary background for the new label requirement, including whether additional disclosure requirements are necessary,” the commission said in the public notice.
The hearing will be viewable on the FCC website at fcc.gov/live and will be archived for later viewing.
Attendees can submit questions in advance of or during the hearing by sending an email to BroadbandLabelHearing@fcc.gov.
Examples of the broadband nutrition labels proposed in 2016 and other information about the initiative are available at this link.