Consumer Alert: New FCC Order Will Require Internet Providers to Display All Charges Upfront

FCC authorization will make it easier to determine internet costs

Before choosing an internet service provider, you want to compare prices, right? But some suppliers make it difficult to know what your total price will be. Sometimes, they make it difficult to know exactly what price you’re getting.

As a result, the Federal Communications Commission requires all major internet providers to post Broadband Facts labels, similar to nutrition labels. Large providers have until April 10 to publish this information.

Verizon has done it. Their labels look very much like nutrition labels and are easy to read. At the top of the tab, you can see the service name and its monthly price. Additional fees and terms will then apply, followed by installation fees, deposits, late fees, taxes and termination fees. At the bottom you can see the plan speeds, including typical upload and download speeds.

Now compare that to Spectrum’s current price list. At the top, it gives you MBPS (Megabits per second) speeds. As expected, the faster, the higher the cost. But in the fine print, you’ll find that these prices are only temporary – for 12 or 24 months. It doesn’t tell you how much you’ll pay thereafter.

I contacted Spectrum and received a link to a pricing page showing their lowest prices. The price of Internet service after the launch period is actually $85, and the price is $50. But this isn’t the price list customers immediately find on the website. The price list is apparently located on the policy page.

Then there’s what Frontier is releasing right now. You know it’s $65 a month, but it doesn’t tell me the speed – which is very important, especially for streaming or downloading content. In the fine print, it said there would be a one-time fee, but it didn’t say what those fees would be.

Greenlight’s pricing page is very clear. You know how fast you’re getting at each price point. You’ll also be informed in advance of your monthly managed Wi-Fi charges. But it’s not until you get to the registration page that you know you’ll need to pay a $100 setup fee.

That’s why these new broadband fact labels are so helpful. You get all your fees upfront. This puts the power back into your hands. You can compare prices across the board and choose the best plan at the best price; there are no surprises.

Primary providers have until April 10 to apply the label. Small providers have until October 10 to apply the label.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *