back to article Eat your greens, FCC tells ISPs with new broadband "nutrition label"

The FCC has launched a "broadband label" that breaks down exactly what service your ISPs offers and all related fees to it. The goal of the new label - which looks a lot like that seen on the side of a food packet - is to increase transparency in broadband services. It will ensure there are "no surprises after you buy", FCC …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Certainly sir. We'll install it today and it'll be going rotten by the end of the week.

  2. Alister Silver badge

    And just what are you supposed to stick the label onto?

    The modem, the cable, or each packet??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You are not supposed to stick it anywhere, that is the responsibility of your ISP and, unless they are very foolish, they will stick it on everything you get from them.

      The only problem I can see will be the howls of 'it's unfair' coming from the large entrenched ISPs when they have to live up to their statements.

    2. msknight Silver badge

      They'll be sticking the label on to each packet, carefully positioned to cover any information that got bruised in transit by the NSA, GCHQ, China, Russia or anyone else.

  3. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Seems like a very good idea.

    Lord knows that there is a lot of confusing hidden clauses and fees in many U.S. broadband service offerings. (I'm looking at you, Comcast!!)

  4. redpawn Silver badge

    What about the free market?

    If broadband providers are forced to do this, how can they innovate in the billing field. This will squash the remnants off the free market. We won't be allowed to choose between different flavors of billing information. This will only hurt consumers in the long run.

    I for one am in favor of the advancement of billing practices science as exercised by the free market.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: What about the free market?

      Oh come on now. It's April the 4th.

      1. Ole Juul Silver badge

        Re: What about the free market?

        "Oh come on now. It's April the 4th."

        Close enough for broadband.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What about the free market?

      You forgot the </sark> tag.

  5. aks Bronze badge

    This is desperately needed that in the UK.

    OfCom are rumbling about making charges more visible due to BT OpenReach's virtual monopoly of the last mile and the fact that all ISP's put the cost of the line rental in the very small print on all adverts.

    As for the actual download and upload speeds, you'll only get that for business users. Otherwise you have to have it installed, then measure it yourself and weep.

  6. Herby Silver badge

    What about...

    Cell phone coverage maps as well? These things are obscured by nice round blobs that imply a coverage area and offer NO consistency whatsoever.

    Yes, there are places in the USA where you can't get cell phone coverage (good chunks of Nevada for instance), and in some metro area that have lots of hills and the like (San Francisco peninsula for one). Cell phone companies are reluctant to publish these due to "competitive reasons" mostly they don't want people to flip carriers.

    Oh, well.

    Organic: Just another keyword for "expensive".

  7. Gene Cash Silver badge

    I wonder just how bullshit the "typical speeds" will be. And how that'll be enforced.

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      "I wonder just how bullshit the "typical speeds" will be. And how that'll be enforced."

      I think the idea is that putting it all up front will allow people to compare what the companies are claiming. Competition will be the enforcer.

  8. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

    Some other things they should fix

    Can we get rid of this Megabit bullshit already? Just switch to Mega-bytes already. Plus require it to be actual base-2 megabytes and not that base-10 malarkey that the storage industry has been giving us.

    Some years ago, I had recently purchased and internet connection with a cap of 250 GB, what they didn't tell me was that it was really a mere 232.8 actual gigabytes that also included the packets emitted by the modem in that figure (The line was noisy, so the modem was resetting itself at least once a minute, pulling down its profile each time). When all was said and done, I only got about 175 GB of actual use out of the thing.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Some other things they should fix

      Top of the list: Technical support cost. If it is £5/minute then service faults are a revenue stream and I will go elsewhere.

      Next is cancellation: This must only depend on me doing things, like say fill in form, add cheque, post and cancel instructions to the bank. If it requires waiting for the ISP to do something then I will not sign up.

      Terms and conditions are the ones on the sheet of paper I signed, not the ones on the web site that change with the wind.

      My ISP got bonus points for defining contention ratio and telling what it would be. They even knew the difference between megabytes per second and a millibit.

      Data caps are way down the list. If I could buy evidence of purchase for a film and download it then I would take an interest, but the only thing on offer is streaming. In the mean time, the post office is far more cost effective for high bandwidth using sneakernet.

  9. Cuddles Silver badge

    "Hidden fees have no place to hide."

    "Varies by location"

    "Individual experience may vary"

    "Click here for other pricing options including promotions..."

    Don't worry, there are still plenty of hiding places.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019