Are you often frustrated by the lack of transparency about broadband services available in your area? We take steps to provide consumers with a wealth of information about our service providers (ISPs).
This week, the FCC announced a descriptive label called “.broadband factsThis is similar in concept to nutrition labels found on packaged foods in US grocery stores. Customers can view details about their broadband services, including service prices, overage charges, and data throttle limits.
The FCC requires these labels to be placed “in close proximity to relevant plan advertisements” for maximum visibility. Additionally, the full label needs to be displayed in full, and ISPs can do more than just put a link on their website that customers have to click to read the full details.
Other important details arising from this new initiative include making data available to third parties. This allows consumers to make more informed decisions while comparing shopping. The broadband plan label should also be accessible from the customer’s account her portal when logging in online. Given that the FCC states that the label is present at the point of sale, you can imagine the label being prominently displayed in brick-and-mortar stores of ISPs such as Comcast, Spectrum, and Verizon, for example.
If you take a closer look at the label, you’ll find a section on the monthly fee for the plan and whether it represents a special promotional price that expires after a set number of months or years. There is also a clause outlining equipment costs, associated early termination fees (if applicable), and government tax amounts applicable to each monthly bill.
ISPs usually like to advertise download speeds in their ads and upload speeds in small print. This is because cable providers often offer much slower upload speeds than download speeds. For example, current cable internet plans offer 500 Mbps downloads, but limit upload speeds to 25 Mbps. Thanks to the FCC, download and upload speeds should appear on the Broadbands Facts label along with “typical” delays. Additionally, since true unlimited data is becoming a rarity on US home broadband plans, we detail how much data (in gigabytes) you’re allotted per month and how much you’ll be charged per gigabyte if you exceed that. There is also a section to limit.
FCC Chairman Jessica Rosenworcel said, “Broadband is an essential service for everyone, everywhere. Consumers know what they are paying for and how it compares to other services.” “For more than 25 years, consumers have enjoyed the convenience of nutrition labels on food. We request that consumers obtain accurate information regarding pricing, speed, data allowance, and other terms and conditions in advance.”
Overall, this seems like a long overdue change to help consumers make more informed decisions when comparing and choosing new broadband services. That’s when you even have the option to choose from multiple broadband providers in your area. Most Americans have access to only one fixed-line broadband provider, but wireless options from ISPs such as Verizon and T-Mobile are also beginning to spread across the United States, but these services also have access to has its own reliability issues.
consumer report When The Barge soon Explore over 22,000 US broadband bills Submitted by a reader. They found that most households spend between $65 and $75 per month on broadband service. By comparison, the London average is $40 and the Paris average is $31. Frontier Communications had the lowest average monthly bill of $53, while Viasat had the highest at $117.