FCC orders ISPs to display labels that clearly indicate speeds and itemized charges

Internet service providers (ISP) will soon have to be a lot more transparent about what their subscriptions entail and how much they actually cost. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has introduced new rules requiring ISPs to display easy-to-read and understand labels that show important facts about their products at the point of sale. These labels will resemble the nutrition labels on the back of foods and should include the price, speed, data limits and other aspects of a company’s wired and wireless internet services.



In a statement, FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said that by requiring companies to clearly display their rates, the agency is “trying to end the kind of unexpected fees and unwanted charges that can be buried in lengthy and mind-numbingly confusing statements from terms and condition.” As you can see from the FCC’s example above, carriers will need to itemize each one-time and monthly fee you’ll be required to pay.

The FCC will require providers to prominently display these labels on their main purchase pages and in proximity to an associated subscription ad. They cannot be hidden behind multiple clicks and cannot be camouflaged by other elements on the page that are likely to miss them. The labels should also be accessible from your customer account portal and the provider should provide you with a copy when requested. In addition, the FCC requires broadband companies to make the labels machine-readable so that third-party developers can easily create tools that make it easier to compare ISPs.

The committee already proposed rules for broadband labels in January in response to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that President Biden signed last year. After the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act reviews and approves the FCC’s requirements, ISPs have six months (or a year, if they are a smaller company) to comply.

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