FCC approves internet 'nutrition label' proposal2022-01-28 18:19 by Daniela
Tags: FCC, Broadband Nutrition Label
The FCC has voted to begin drafting a new rule that would require broadband and cable companies to be more transparent about hidden fees, data caps, and other restrictions that often remain undisclosed or difficult to understand.
The FCC was directed to take action on a "Broadband Nutrition Label" as part of the infrastructure law signed in November. The label is modeled after the Food and Drug Administration's nutrition labels for food products and aims to help consumers compare options for better deals and boost competition.
"In a grocery store, nutrition labels make it easy to compare calories & carbohydrates," said FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel this morning via Twitter. "We need the same simple labels for broadband - so we can compare price, speed & data. No more fees in fine print."
Rosenworcel points out the tendency of broadband providers to stick consumers with hidden fees and service limitations like modem rental, upload speeds, and data caps. When signing up for service, consumers are often left on their own to find these things. Many customers have complained of receiving bills with undisclosed fees reaching 50-percent of the advertised subscription rate or more.
Under the rule, your ISP would need to clearly highlight any hidden fees, line limitations, usage caps, or other restrictions on your broadband line. ISPs will also be required to disclose the speed and latency of the connections they sell.
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