FCC unveils nutrition-style broadband labels
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has unveiled new consumer broadband labels that are aimed to educate consumers about the type of internet service that they are purchasing.
Similar to food labels, the labels will provide consumers with more information on service speed and greater clarity regarding the costs of broadband service, including fees and other add-on charges.
Labels will include info like monthly charges, activation fees, as well as download and upload speeds.
“These labels provide consumers clarity about the broadband service they are purchasing, not only helping them to make more informed choices but also preventing surprises when the first bill arrives,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a press release. “Customers deserve to know the price they will actually pay for a service and to be fully aware of other components such as data limits and performance factors before they sign up for service.”
The FCC’s Open Internet rules, passed last year, require internet service providers to release information about their services in an easy and digestible way. The labels, which the FCC worked with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on creating, are not mandatory.
“Consumers deserve to know before they owe, with clear, upfront information about the prices, risks, and terms of the deal,” Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray said. “Broadband is quickly becoming a necessary part of everyday life for millions of consumers.”