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Internet Providers Must Now Be More Transparent About Fees, Pricing, FCC Says

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has introduced new rules mandating "broadband labels" for internet packages, similar to nutritional labels on food products.

AP
Federal Communications Commission Photo: AP
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Much like nutritional labels on food products, “broadband labels” for internet packages will soon tell you just what is going into the pricing of your service, thanks to new rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission this week.

“If you’ve ever shopped for home or mobile internet, you can understand how hard it can be to understand what you’re actually paying for,” said Jon Donenberg, Deputy Director of the White House National Economic Council, on a call with reporters. “The broadband nutrition label is a tool that can help consumers make sure they have a clear, straightforward explanation of home and mobile services before signing up for anything.”

Following the design of FDA food labels, these broadband labels will provide easy-to-understand, accurate information about the cost and performance of high-speed internet service to help consumers avoid junk fees, price hikes, and other unexpected costs.

Internet service providers selling home access or mobile broadband plans will be required to have a label for each plan beginning April 10.

The labels will be mandated to appear at any point of sale, including online and in stores, and they will be required to disclose all pricing information — including introductory rates, data allowances, and speeds. The labels will also include links to information about network management practices and privacy policies.

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