FCC approves internet ‘nutrition label’ proposal

Greg Nash

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously Thursday to proceed with a proposal that would require internet service providers to display certain cost and service information in easy-to-understand labels for consumers. 

The FCC was directed to take action on a “Broadband Nutrition Label” as part of the infrastructure law signed in November. The label is modeled after the Food and Drug Administration’s nutrition labels for food products and aims to help consumers compare options for better deals and boost competition. 

The proposal builds off the voluntary labels the commission approved in 2016. 

There is still some time before such labels will be implemented. 

After the 4-0 vote on Thursday, the commission will seek comments about the efficacy of the 2016 labels in assisting consumers and whether the label and relevant requirements should be updated. 

New America’s Open Technology Institute, which first suggested the broadband labels in 2009, cheered the FCC’s vote. 

“The broadband nutrition label cuts through this confusion by clearly disclosing the cost and terms of service in a simple, consumer-friendly format. It’s a common sense idea that we look forward to working with the Commission to implement. People deserve to know what they are paying for,” Open Technology Institute Deputy Director Joshua Stager said in a statement. 

The infrastructure law requires the rules be finalized by November.

Tags Broadband FCC Federal Communications Commission Internet service provider Nutrition facts label
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