On October 10, 2023, the FCC announced the dates by which ISPs must be in compliance with the FCC’s rules related to Consumer Broadband Labels. In a November 2022 Order the Commission established rules that require broadband providers to display at the point of sale information about the cost and performance of the broadband services being offered to consumers. The Consumer Broadband Labels are required to be formatted similarly to the Food and Drug Administration nutrition labels. In past issues of the ICORE Blog (2/14/23, 3/3/23, and 3/31/23) we’ve addressed this issue and provided a discussion of the specific label requirements as well as the background regarding the promulgation of the relevant FCC rules. The 2/14/23 Blog also provided a sample version of a Consumer Broadband Label.
Subsequent to our last discussion of this topic on this site, on August 9, 2023, the FCC issued an Order on Reconsideration in response to petitions for reconsideration that were filed by interested parties. In this Order the Commission affirmed that providers must itemize monthly discretionary fees on the label and state how much data is provided with the service plan. In addition, the Commission clarified that E-Rate and Rural Health Care service providers are not required to include a broadband label for enterprise or special access services provided through those programs. This Order also revises the requirement to document each instance when a provider directs a consumer to a label at an alternative sales channel and to retain documentation for two years. Lastly, the Commission makes clear that providers that opt to include government taxes in their monthly base price may state on the label that government taxes are included.
In regard to the implementation of the new rules, the FCC adopted a bifurcated approach. Providers with more than 100,000 subscribers must be in compliance with the new rules within six months following the announcement in the Federal Register that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has completed its review of the rules. Providers with 100,000 or fewer subscribers have a one year implementation period after OMB review. On September 19, 2023, OMB approved the information collection requirements for the Consumer Broadband Labels rules and a notice was published in the Federal Register on October 10, 2023. The October 10, 2023, FCC announcement states that providers with more than 100,000 subscribers must be in compliance with the new rules by April 10, 2024 and providers with 100,000 or fewer subscribers must be in compliance by October 10, 2024.
These new rules create another significant requirement that carriers must meet. If we can be of assistance to your Company in meeting these new obligations, please contact Chris Ulmer at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 610-928-3903.