The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved the use of broadband labels intended to provide consumers with more detailed and accurate information about the performance and cost of their Internet service.
According to a Public Notice issued in early April 2016, the consumer broadband labels were proposed by the Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) under the auspices of the Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order. The labels will include information on: 1) price, including charges for overage, equipment and early termination and administrative fees; 2) data allowances to alert consumers as to limits under their plan; and 3) performance information, such as broadband speed and other metrics.
The FCC says that it receives more than 2000 complaints each year about problems with Internet service bills, with billed amounts as much as 40 percent higher than advertised prices.
While the use of the consumer broadband labels is not mandatory for mobile and fixed broadband service providers, those providers that do use the labels will receive safe harbor protections from the formatting requirements of consumer disclosures mandated under the Commission’s Open Internet transparency rules.