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US internet providers will begin issuing new comparison labels

The Verizon logo is shown on the 375 Pearl Street skyscraper in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 22, 2021

WASHINGTON, March 20 (mod1s) - Major U.S. broadband internet providers must start showing information comparable to nutrition labels on food goods to help customers shop for services beginning on April 10, under new regulations from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Verizon Communications (VZ.N), opens new tab said it would begin issuing the labels on Wednesday. The FCC initially tried to impose the labeling in 2022. Smaller suppliers will be obliged to issue labels beginning in October.

The guidelines compel internet providers to display, at the point of sale, labels that disclose costs, speeds, taxes and data limits for both wireless and wired equipment.
Verizon Chief Customer Experience Officer Brian Higgins said in an interview the labels would help customers make "an equal comparison" across product options, speeds and prices.
Higgins said uniform labeling throughout the sector "make it easier for customers to do a comparison of which provider is going to be the best fit for their needs." He added users would still need to explore different bundle deals among providers.

The labels were initially revealed as a voluntary initiative in 2016. Congress instructed the FCC to impose them under the 2021 infrastructure legislation.
"Consumers will finally get information they can use to comparison shop, avoid junk fees, and make informed choices about which high-speed internet service is the best fit for their needs and budget," FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said.
Labels must be clearly visible on primary shopping sites and "cannot be buried in multiple clicks or reduced to a link or icon that a consumer might miss," Rosenworcel said.

The FCC is tackling different pricing transparency concerns and last month approved regulations requiring cable and satellite TV providers to disclose "all-in" rates prominently to prevent what the agency said was the "misleading practice of describing video programming costs as a tax, fee, or surcharge."
The FCC has also proposed to prevent cable and satellite TV companies from charging customers early-termination fees to quit contracts and to compensate subscribers if they cancel before to the conclusion of a billing cycle.


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