This Week The FCC Will Force Comcast, Spectrum, & Others To Disclose The Real Cost of Internet & The Real Speeds They Offer





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 and the speeds they really offer starting this Wednesday, April 10th, 2023.

The FCC says 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.

Some providers, like Google, already have rolled out these labels. Others will need to do so by Wednesday. Providers with 100,000 or fewer subscriber lines have an October 10, 2024 deadline. Google is the first provider to unveil its label.

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.

Last 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

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