FCC Institutes ACP Transparency Data Collection: Broadband Breakfast

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18, 2022 — The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday afternoon ordered internet service providers to display broadband “nutrition” labels at points of sale that include internet plan performance metrics, monthly rates and other information that can inform consumers’ purchasing decisions.

The agency released the requirement less than 24 hours before releasing the first draft of its updated broadband map.

The FCC has required the labels to be machine-readable, which is designed to facilitate data collection and analysis by third parties. The commission also requires that the labels be made available on customers’ online portals with the and “accessible” to non-English speakers.

In addition to the broadband speeds promised by the providers, the new labels must also display typical latency, charges related to the time of purchase, discount information, data limits and provider contact information.

“Broadband is an essential service, for everyone, everywhere. For this reason, consumers need to know what they are paying for and how it compares to other service offerings,” the FCC Chairman said. Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement.

“For more than 25 years, consumers have enjoyed the convenience of nutrition labels on food products. We now require ISPs to display broadband labels for wireless and wireline services. Consumers deserve accurate information about price, speed, data allowances, and other terms of service up-front. »

Industry players have vigorously debated the appropriate parameters for wideband tags in a flurry of FCC filings. Free Press, an advocacy group, has argued for machine-readable labels and accommodations for non-English speakers, measures that have been widely opposed by trade groups. Free Press also advocated requiring the labels to be included on monthly Internet bills, or else the FCC “risks simply replicating the status quo in which consumers must navigate fine print, poorly designed websites, and Byzantine hyperlinks,” the group wrote.

“Not requiring the label to appear on a customer’s monthly bill is a disappointing concession to monopoly ISPs like AT&T and Comcast and a great loss to consumers,” Joshua Stager, political director of Free Press, said Friday.

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association opposed Free Press in its FCC filing and supported the point-of-sale requirement.

“WISPA welcomes today’s release of the new FCC broadband label,” said Vice President of Policy Louis Peraertz. “This will help consumers better understand their internet access purchases, allowing them to quickly see ‘under the hood’ and have an effective comparison tool between apples when shopping for services in the marketplace. “

Image of FCC’s sample high-speed nutrition label

Comments are closed.