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Clear Choices Ahead: U.S. Broadband Providers Launch New Comparison Labels

U.S. Broadband Providers Launch New Comparison Labels

Starting April 10, big internet companies in the U.S. have to show easy-to-understand labels for their internet services, kind of like the nutrition facts on food. This new rule is from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to help people know what they're buying. Verizon, a big internet company, said they'll start showing these labels on Wednesday. The FCC decided on this rule last year. Smaller internet companies will start doing the same in October.


The new rules say that companies that provide internet must show labels that tell you about the costs, how fast the internet is, any extra fees, and how much data you can use. This is for both mobile internet and the internet that comes through wires. Brian Higgins, who works at Verizon and focuses on making customers happy, said in an interview that these labels will make it easier for people to compare different internet options. He mentioned that having the same type of labels for all companies means customers can better figure out which company meets their needs. However, he also said that people should still look into different deals that companies offer together with their main services.


The idea for these labels started in 2016 as something companies could choose to do. But in 2021, a new law told the FCC they had to make all internet companies use them. Jessica Rosenworcel, the head of the FCC, said these labels will let people easily compare internet services, avoid extra hidden fees, and choose the best internet for their money and needs. The rules say these labels need to be easy to find and see right where you buy the service online. They can't be hidden away where you'd have to click a lot or just be a small icon that could be missed.


The FCC is working on making sure companies are clear about how much you have to pay. This month, they made new rules for TV companies that use cables and satellites. Now, these companies have to clearly show the total price you will pay, which includes everything. This is to stop them from misleadingly saying some costs are taxes or extra fees when they're not. The FCC also wants to stop these TV companies from charging people fees if they decide to cancel their service early. Plus, if someone cancels their service before their next payment is due, the FCC says the company should give them their money back for the time they won't be using the service.


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