FCC rolls out 'Broadband Facts' labels inspired by nutrition labels

By Shawn Knight
Apr 4, 2016
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  1. Making sense of an Internet service provider’s various broadband offerings can be tricky, especially for those who aren’t tech-savvy.

    In an effort to help consumers make more informed decisions as it relates to both wired and mobile broadband offerings, the Federal Communications Commission on Monday rolled out voluntary labels that’ll lay out details such as speed, price and data caps in a familiar template.

    The “Broadband Facts” labels are designed in the image of Nutrition Facts labels found on food products. In the samples provided by the FCC, we see a breakdown of both basic facts about a service as well as details one might not immediately think of when shopping around for a provider such as the cost of additional data, one-time fees and early termination fees.

    In essence, the labels bring together most of the pertinent details that an informed consumer would look for before pulling the trigger (many of which are often buried deep within the fine print).

    More information is always welcomed but one has to wonder, is the FCC is simply enabling or encouraging consumers to exert even less effort in vetting a service provider? Perhaps. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler described it as very straightforward and clear-cut, adding that hidden fees have no place to hide.

    If nothing else, the labels will allow consumers to make consistent comparisons between services while shopping providers.

    Lead image courtesy Getty Images

    Permalink to story.

  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,295   +663

    "Voluntary labeling", meaning that just like with nutrition labels the government won't verify one word of it.
    DAOWAce likes this.
  3. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,602   +370

    Wow that 4G speed is woeful. Is that seriously representative of 4G speeds in the US?

    On the flip side, this is a great idea. If the provider doesn't voluntarily fill it out, 3rd parties will :)
  4. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 862   +353

    They have to dumb it down, because your average American consumer, doesn't know how to read, and is economically illiterate.
  5. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,142   +482

    I feel like the FCC is trying to justify their existence
  6. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 860   +308

    "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize.....half of them are stupider than that"
    George Carlin RIP
  7. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 253   +85

    Sort of seems useless, and especially since so many people in the U.S only have access to one carrier anyway....oh me.....
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  8. DAOWAce

    DAOWAce TS Booster Posts: 248   +30

    This is just.. stupid.

    Nutrition labels aren't even that good, replicating it in something that's based in technology is even worse.
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    I'm guessing there was not enough room to include details about family plans.

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