The FCC will require fixed and mobile internet service providers (ISPs) to prominently display information about their internet service access plans in the form of consumer labels that resemble food nutrition labels.
The “Broadband Facts” label shows information about pricing, introductory rates, data allowances, performance metrics, and whether an ISP participates in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). ISPs will have to display labels next to advertised plans, and not as just icons or links. The facts on the labels will tell customers exactly what they will pay for before they commit to subscriptions.
ISPs must display the labels at points-of-sale, meaning at retail stores and/or the ISP’s website. If an ISP cannot assure that consumers can access the Broadband Facts Label at the point-of-sale online or offline, the ISP is required to either send a hard copy by postal mail or email, or read the entire label to consumers over the phone.
ISPs will need to:
The label must be accessible to people with disabilities in a machine-readable format at all points-of-sale. If an ISP markets its services in other languages, the labels must also be available in those languages.
The Broadband Label Rules, which implement Section 60504 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will go into effect on January 17, 2023. However, ISPs with more than 100,000 subscribers will be required to comply with the new label requirements within six months of OMB approval of the new information collection requirements. ISPs with 100,000 or fewer subscribers will have one year from the date of OMB approval to comply.
The FCC is currently seeking comments on whether:
Comments on the proposed rules are due by January 17, 2023, and Reply Comments are due by February 14, 2023.
If you have questions about the new Broadband Label Rules, please contact any attorney in our Broadband, Spectrum, and Communications Infrastructure practice group.