FCC upholds broadband consumer label rules emphasizing consumer protection

The FCC decided that it would not change the policy related to the broadband price listing. These rules, require broadband providers to display clear information about broadband prices, speeds, and data.

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has declined to reconsider the Broadband Consumer Label rules, which were implemented in 2022. These rules aim to provide consumers with clear, accurate, and easy-to-understand information about the cost. The rules require broadband internet service providers to display labels at the point of sale, disclosing important details such as broadband prices, introductory rates, data allowances, and broadband speeds. Additionally, providers must include links to information about their network management practices, privacy policies, and the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Programme.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stated that “the objective is to prevent consumers from being surprised by unexpected charges or unanticipated higher costs. Transparency is crucial to ensuring consumer protection”

Several petitions were filed requesting clarification and reconsideration of certain label requirements. However, the recent Order on Reconsideration largely affirms the original rules. Some revisions and clarifications have been made, such as modifying provider record-keeping requirements. The rules will go into effect after undergoing a review, and once approved, providers will have deadlines to meet for displaying the labels. The majority of providers must display the label within six months of the approval, while providers with 100,000 or fewer subscriber lines have a deadline of twelve months.

Why does it matter?
The rules, implemented as required by the US Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, promote transparency, prevent unexpected charges, and enable consumers to make well-informed decisions about their internet service options. This decision demonstrates a commitment to consumer protection and accessibility in the broadband industry.