If you are shopping for internet service, you should know about the new broadband labeling requirements. The FCC now requires ISPs to clearly state speeds, pricing and other critical details about their services. These new Broadband Consumer Labels look like the FDA’s nutrition labels. Overall, the government is trying to make ISPs present their offerings in a standard and less confusing way.


Here’s an example of what you will find, when you go shopping at Xfinity’s website:

New Broadband Labeling Requirements

When I visited the Glofiber page, their internet offerings were super-clear with these labels:

Despite this being a strict federal requirement, some ISPs are going to play with the format, to see what they can get away with. I went shopping for Verizon Fios, and didn’t see these labels. They gave me the same old Plan Summaries and encouraged me to choose one. But below these choices was a small, plain link that said “Jump to broadband facts labels” and those revealed the clearer details:

If you cannot locate these Broadband Nutrition labels on an ISP’s website, please know that:

  • This is a very new requirement, and perhaps they are still getting their website updated with this info.
  • Small ISPs (with fewer than 100,000 subscribers) have until October to comply.
  • The FCC would like for you to let them know, if an ISP is not posting these labels, or if they are being inaccurate with their pricing or other stated details. You may report such deceptive business practices at this site.

Importance of Broadband Labels

These labels are meant to help you avoid unpleasant surprises on your internet bill. So many people sign up with an ISP due to a low monthly price, only to find out a year later that they were enjoying a promotional discount. When the real price kicks in, those customers feel duped or taken advantage of. The FCC would like to help you know, from these labels, when you are paying a reliable price or a temporary one.

Besides clearing the air over pricing, these labels may help you understand your internet speed. It is so important to know what speed you should be getting in your home! Let me digress with this scenario:

I frequently help clients in speeding up their tech and figuring out why things are slow. And in the course of this detective work, I have to ask them: What speed of internet are you paying for? Many people do not know the answer to this, so we look at their internet bill. If we can’t find the speed on the bill, we visit the ISP’s website. And even then, we may not find any speed numbers. How in the world are we to know if their internet is operating correctly, if we can’t determine what speed they should be seeing?

These labels will clear up that kind of mess. Customers will be able to run a simple speed test, compare it against their broadband label, and reach out to the ISP over any discrepancy. Not that I don’t enjoy the detective work, but this will save everyone so much time!