How to Utilize Internet Service ‘Nutrition Labels’

### Clear Information on Internet Service Costs and Quality

Before signing up for internet service, potential customers can now easily access information on costs and quality. A new requirement from the Federal Communications Commission mandates that companies selling internet service must provide standard information labels, similar to nutrition labels on food packaging. This information includes monthly costs, expected internet speeds, and additional fees for installation, modem rental, and taxes.

### Where to Find Internet ‘Nutrition’ Labels

As of this week, major internet service providers such as Xfinity, Spectrum, Optimum, Cox, AT&T, and Verizon are required to display these information labels on their websites. Customers can enter their address into the FCC interactive map to see available providers in their area, categorized by technology type. It is recommended to consider providers listed as “cable,” “fiber to the premises,” or “NGSO Satellite.” Additionally, exploring 5G options in the “mobile broadband” tab may offer a fast and affordable alternative for some users.

### Accessing Provider Information Labels

Once potential providers are identified, customers can visit the company’s website and enter their address to view available internet packages and click on “broadband facts” to access the FCC-mandated information labels. These labels should display introductory rates, expected price increases, potential extra fees, and typical speeds. However, not all labels are currently in full compliance with FCC disclosure requirements.

### Limitations of the Information Labels

According to analysis by telecommunications professor Sascha Meinrath, nearly half of the internet information labels are not fully compliant with disclosure rules. Customers can file complaints with the FCC for missing information. It is important to note that these labels only apply to internet service and do not provide details for bundled packages. Some industry experts suggest improvements such as including the labels on monthly bills for easier access and enabling side-by-side comparisons of different providers.

Overall, the introduction of internet information labels marks a significant step towards consumer transparency in the home internet service market. Despite some shortcomings, industry representatives and consumer advocates agree that these labels are a valuable resource for customers seeking clear answers about internet service availability, costs, quality, and potential drawbacks.

Original Story at – 2024-04-12 16:31:17

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