The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) plans to take up a proposal to require “nutrition labels” for broadband service at the commission’s public meeting set for Jan. 27.
The requirement for broadband service labeling stems from provisions in the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act approved by Congress last November.
The funding bill established the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program providing for billions of dollars for affordable broadband service, and a mandate that the FCC create broadband service “nutrition labels” so that consumers can know what speed and quality of service they are getting, at what price, and with what fees attached.
“As directed by the new law, the Commission will consider a proposal to establish simple-to-understand broadband labels, whereby internet providers would disclose accurate information about prices, introductory rates, data allowances, and broadband speeds,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel wrote in a blog post on Jan. 5 announcing the agenda for the FCC’s monthly meeting.
According to Rosenworcel, the goal is to create new transparency in the broadband marketplace to make sure consumers know what they’re paying for, and increase incentives for carriers to compete on price and service.
The FCC created some broadband service labelling rules in 2016, and the current proceeding would consider how those might be updated.
Also on the table for the FCC’s January meeting is a vote to update political programming and record-keeping rules to reflect the reality of the digital age. The commission will also vote on fixing broadband connections for Tribal libraries. The FCC also will vote on simplifying its rules to facilitate better use of the “white space” spectrum and modernize equipment authorization rules.