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Internet providers have to start using this 'nutrition facts' label that breaks down fees

Grace Eliza Goodwin   

Internet providers have to start using this 'nutrition facts' label that breaks down fees
  • Labels in a "nutrition facts" format for internet plans are finally a reality.
  • As of Wednesday, the FCC requires internet providers to break down costs and services for customers.

If you've ever had trouble figuring out exactly what fees your internet provider is charging you and what internet speed you're actually getting, the Federal Communications Commission has your back.

The FCC is now requiring internet providers to give customers a breakdown of all the costs, fees, and speeds associated with their plan in a simple "nutrition facts" format, just like you might see on the back of a bag of chips.

Beginning Wednesday, all internet companies that have more than 100,000 customers must display these labels at every point of sale, both online and in stores, according to a Wednesday press release from the FCC. That includes companies that provide both home, or fixed, internet services and mobile broadband.

Providers with fewer than 100,000 customers have until October to roll out the labels.

And the labels aren't just designed for new customers — internet service providers must also make them available to current customers in their online account portals and provide the label when a customer asks for it.

Specifically, the labels must include a variety of detailed information, such as introductory rates, data allowances, contract length, early termination fees, and more. They also must include links to information about network management practices and privacy policies, the FCC explained.

"Broadband Labels are designed to provide clear, easy-to-understand, and accurate information about the cost and performance of high-speed internet services," the FCC said in its press release. "The labels are modeled after the FDA nutrition labels and are intended to help consumers comparison shop for the internet service plan that will best meet their needs and budget."

The labels have been eight years in the making.

The FCC first proposed the labels that resemble nutrition facts as a voluntary option in 2016, but didn't mandate them until 2022 following an order from Congress under the 2021 infrastructure law, Reuters reported.

Some ISPs got ahead of the FCC's Wednesday deadline — Google Fiber was one of the first ISPs to roll out the labels in October, and Verizon followed suit last month.