Broadband Labels Now Required for Larger ISPs

Broadband Labels Now Required for Larger ISPs

The Federal Communications Commission FCC announced that large internet providers, specifically those with 100,000 subscribers or more, should adhere to previously established broadband label requirements.

The deadline for this was 10 April.

Smaller companies, essentially those with less than 100,000 subscribers, have 6 more months. This means they must comply with the requirements by 10 October.

This is also the deadline for ISPs to allow third parties to easily collect and aggregate data in order to help create consumer-based shopping tools.

The FCC requires broadband labels to follow a specific format, displayed at the point of purchase for stand-alone consumer services.

The goal is to make it easier for consumers to compare plans from one provider to another.

The FCC said accurate, simple-to-understand information about broadband services helps consumers make informed choices.

Additionally, better transparency encourages competition and innovation while helping keep prices down.

The shift towards labels started in 2015 when the FCC first formally sought recommendations from the Consumer Advisory Committee for consumer-centric labels.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law directed the FCC to mandate labels with necessary information about broadband services.

The FCC later adopted rules in 2022 that require broadband providers to display labels at the point of sale showing prices, speeds, fees, data allowances, and other critical information.

The FCC’s efforts to implement similar labeling requirements date back to 2016 under the net neutrality authority.

Broadband Labels Now Required for Larger ISP
Broadband Labels Now Required for Larger ISPs

However, these earlier efforts were not mandatory and, therefore, had limited impact. This is why the current regulations have been designed as mandatory to ensure compliance and effectiveness.

The ISPs are required to include the following details on the labels:

  • Broadband prices
  • Introductory rate details
  • Data allowances
  • Links to additional information about available discounts or service bundles, network management practices, and privacy policies.

The format of these new labels is similar to the nutritional content label on food products. These labels have been displayed for so long that consumers are now very familiar with the idea of it.

Some of the requirements for the labels are:

  • The labels should be displayed at any point of sale, be it online or at physical store locations.
  • The complete label needs to be displayed, not just an icon.
  • The label should be displayed in close proximity to an associated plan’s advertisement.

The FCC is also involved in broader regulatory efforts, including re-evaluating the definitions and standards for adequate broadband service.

This is part of a larger discussion on internet speeds and access, reflecting evolving needs and technologies.

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About the author

Nancy Beverly

Nancy Beverly is a prominent political journalist and editor at World-Wire, known for her sharp analysis and deep understanding of global politics. With a Master's degree in Political Science, she excels in breaking down complex political issues, making them relatable to the public. At World-Wire, Nancy crafts compelling political narratives covering everything from local governance to international relations. Recognized for her expertise, she received the 'Excellence in Political Journalism' award in 2021. Nancy's work not only informs but also enriches her readers' understanding of political dynamics.

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