FCC Begins Process to Require Broadband Labels for ISPs

At its last Open Meeting on January 27, 2022, the FCC proposed to require Internet service providers (ISPs) to display “consumer broadband labels” containing important information about the provider’s services, such as prices, speeds, data allowances, and management practices.

At a minimum, the FCC would require providers to display labels on their websites depicting the broadband services that are offered. The FCC seeks comment on how providers should display the labels in other retail settings, such as in-person, on apps, or for purchases made over the phone. The FCC proposes that the labels look like standard food nutrition labels.

These proposed rules would require ISPs to create labels for each of their broadband service offerings, update their websites to include these labels, and implement procedures to ensure the labels are displayed in the manner required by the Commission. Providers also might be required to email labels to customers before completing purchases over the phone, or to notify customers when the contents of a label associated with their broadband service changes.

To promote its goal of ensuring customers have information necessary to make informed decisions in the broadband marketplace, the FCC also seeks comment on, among other things: how customers evaluate broadband service plans; whether the labels will help inform customers purchasing broadband; and what information should be included.

Some form of consumer label regulation is coming. Congress directed the FCC to implement broadband labels by November 15, 2022, and providers likely will have six months to comply with the new requirements after their adoption.

JSI will keep you informed on this important proposal and urges you to consider how your company will comply with these new requirements. JSI is available to assist in drafting comments in response to these proposed rules. The deadline for filing comments is March 9, 2022, and for reply comments, March 24, 2022. If you have questions, please contact contact us by clicking the button below.

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