The FCC is pushing nutrition labels for internet providers.
what you need to know
- The FCC has voted to move forward with new rules for ISPs to display nutrition labels.
- The proposed rulemaking would require ISPs to display relevant speed and pricing information to consumers.
- This should make it easier for consumers to make informed decisions about their broadband.
The FCC voted unanimously to approve a plan that would allow consumers to make better decisions about their broadband internet.
The proposal would require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) — including many of the nation’s best wireless carriers — to display “nutrition labels” that show consumers relevant service information at the point of sale. This includes internet speed, allowances and clear information about rates.
“If you walk into any grocery store and take boxes of cereal off the shelf, you can easily compare calories and carbohydrates,” FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement Thursday. “That’s because they have a common nutrition label, which is black and white, easy to read, easy to understand, and helps consumers make the right choice.”
This should also apply to broadband services, so customers can make informed choices and compare services to get the best one for them, Rosenworcel said. For example, customers will be able to clearly see if the offer they are offering is just an introductory price and will be able to see how much they will pay after the introductory period ends.
The proposal is based on a 2016 notification approving the use of broadband nutrition labels. However, as Rosenworcel points out, “[i]This is also voluntary. “
The newly proposed label is mandatory as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed into law in November. This gives the FCC more power to enforce nutrition labeling and to spearhead other programs and efforts to expand broadband access.
Hopefully this will make it easier to find the right broadband service, especially in rural areas where ISPs and wireless providers have largely failed to deliver on their promises.