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Consumer Reports applauds rollout of broadband consumer label

FCC will require internet providers to display easy-to-read, nutrition-style labels at all points of sale

Washington DC – Starting tomorrow, the Federal Communications Commission will begin requiring many internet service providers (ISP) to display broadband labels at all points of sale, both online and in stores.

The labels are required to disclose crucial information regarding broadband prices, introductory rates, data allowances, and broadband speeds. Additionally, they will provide links to details about network management practices and privacy policies.

Justin Brookman, director of technology policy at Consumer Reports, said, “The broadband label is a critical step toward establishing a fairer marketplace. Internet providers have long obscured the true cost of the services they provide. They hit us with confusing information, hidden data caps, and bills loaded with mysterious fees buried in the fine print.

“For those shopping for a new internet provider, it can be a challenging and frustrating process. These labels will make it easier for people to compare competing products and make thoughtful, informed purchasing decisions, ” Brookman said.

CR has long advocated for consumer-friendly labels for internet service, and pushed for the broadband label to be included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in 2021. In addition to having the broadband label displayed at all points of sale, CR encourages the FCC to extend the label to consumer bills as well.

Many providers will begin displaying their labels tomorrow, and some introduced them ahead of the date. Providers with less than 100,000 subscribers have until Oct. 10, 2024, to comply with the FCC rules to display broadband labels at their points of sale.

If a provider is not displaying their labels or has posted inaccurate information about its fees or service plans, consumers can file a complaint with the FCC Consumer Complaint Center at https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov.

Contact: Cyrus Rassool, cyrus.rassool@consumer.org