On January 27, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission proposed new rules that would require broadband providers to display labels that convey critical broadband service information to better enable consumers to comparison shop for broadband services. The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that details these proposed changes and is currently seeking comments from the public on this matter.
The current “transparency rule” states that “[a]ny person providing broadband [I]nternet access shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of its broadband [I]nternet access services sufficient to enable consumers to make informed choices regarding the purchase of such services and entrepreneurs and other small businesses to develop, market, and maintain [I]nternet offerings.”
The proposed rule is more specific than the current requirements, mandating that providers “display, at the point of sale, labels that show prices, including introductory rates, as well as speeds, data allowances, network management practices, and other critical broadband service information.” These changes are pursuant to the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which stipulated that the FCC should adopt the labeling format contained in the Commission’s 2016 Public Notice.
The labeling convention for fixed broadband services includes information on:
The labeling convention for mobile broadband services includes information on:
The FCC believes that “[a]ccess to accurate, simple-to-understand information about broadband Internet access services helps consumers make informed choices and is central to a well-functioning marketplace that encourages competition, innovation, low prices, and high-quality services” by allowing them to “comparison shop when choosing broadband services and providers that best meet their needs and match their budgets.”
To determine how to best adopt these changes, the FCC seeks comments from the public, including, but not limited to:
Interested parties may submit comments until 30 days after the NPRM is published in the Federal Register.
If you would like to submit comments or otherwise be kept informed of this matter, please contact Jonathan Marashlian at (703) 714-1313 or email@example.com.