FCC Tees Up ISP Broadband 'Nutrition' Labels

(Image credit: FCC)

The FCC will consider new ISP broadband service consumer labels at the upcoming January 27 public meeting.

That is according to FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, who outlined the meeting agenda Wednesday (January 5).

Among the provisions in the Biden Infrastructure Act, which allocated billions of dollars for broadband, including subsidies for service, was a mandate that the FCC create a broadband “nutrition label” of sorts, so consumers can know what speed and quality of service they are getting at which price and with what fees attached.

Rosenworcel said that label must include "accurate information about prices, introductory rates, data allowances, and broadband speeds."

Also: Broadband Nutrition Label Bill Revived

Any ISP that does not deliver on that label could be pursued by the Federal Trade Commission under its authority to prevent "false and deceptive" advertising.

Rosenworcel said the goal was "new transparency in the broadband marketplace to make sure consumers know what they’re paying for and to increase incentives for carriers to compete on price and service."

Also on tap for the January meeting is a vote on updated rules for political programming and record-keeping. Rosenworcel said they have not been updated to "reflect the realities of the digital age." The FCC launched the inquiry into the rule update last August.

The FCC will also vote on simplifying its rules for the use of the white spaces in the broadcast band for unlicensed broadband. ■

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.