The Federal Communications Commission wants broadband providers to roll out “nutrition-style” labels that spell out the fine print on the prices of their plans by 2024, which internet service providers argue put an undue burden on them. Google released its version on Thursday.
Google’s Broadband Consumer Labels cover its residential 1 Gig, 2 Gig, 5 Gig, and 8 Gig GFiber products.
This comes just two days after the FCC mandated that all broadband providers must roll out their labels by 2024. These labels are intended to display “clear, easy-to-understand, and accurate information” about a provider’s internet prices, introductory rates, data allowances, and broadband speeds.
Between promotions and technical jargon, paying for internet access can get complicated quickly. These labels aim to hold providers accountable to customers and expose fine print about data caps or hidden charges that otherwise would’ve been overlooked.
“For too long, our industry has hidden behind fees and pricing tactics that made it difficult for people to truly compare their internet options,” Ariane Schaffer, Google’s government affairs and public policy manager said in a statement.
A majority of providers will be required to display the label by April 10, 2024. Providers with 100,000 or fewer subscriber lines have an October 10, 2024 deadline. Google is the first provider to unveil its label.
“We think it’s a great idea, and we didn’t think that Google Fiber customers should have to wait for that clarity,” Schaffer said.
Google said it will update its labels to reflect the FCC’s guidance by the 2024 deadline. For now, here’s what Google’s 1 Gig label looks like:
After the FCC adopted the label rules in 2022, multiple petitions were filed by broadband providers asking for clarification and reconsideration.
In August, cable and telecom companies pushed back on the FCC’s order to include the disclosures, arguing that the labels would only confuse customers and provide an onerous amount of additional work given the different tiers of pricing. Shortly after, the FCC said it wouldn’t reconsider the Broadband Consumer Label rules. In a release at that time, the FCC said the action preserves a consumer’s access to transparent and accurate information about broadband services.
Image credit: Google