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Understanding Your Internet Plan Got Easier: Broadband Nutrition Labels

Starting Wednesday, consumers shopping for internet plans will notice something new: information sheets designed like nutrition labels, making it simpler to understand the details and costs associated with each plan.

image of canned food

Under new, recent rules from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), internet service providers are required to prominently display these labels at all points of sale, whether in-store or online.

Alejandro Roark, chief of the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, explained the rationale behind this approach during a press call on Tuesday. He linked the format to nutrition labels found on food products, aiming to provide basic information about broadband internet service in a recognizable and understandable manner.

Importantly, these labels cannot be hidden away on websites or condensed into a single link. Each standalone broadband service offering must have its own detailed label, covering aspects such as pricing, introductory rates, data allowances, and performance metrics.

The FCC has been exploring the concept of broadband nutrition labels since the Obama administration, and their implementation is now mandated by the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

By October, smaller internet service providers with fewer than 100,000 subscribers will also be required to adopt these labels. The FCC plans to monitor compliance through consumer complaints and internal checks, referring any issues to the Enforcement Bureau for further investigation. This initiative marks a significant step towards transparency and consumer empowerment in the broadband marketplace.


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