Blank Sample Label

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broadband label sample

Consumer Broadband Labels are designed to provide clear, easy-to-understand, and accurate information about the cost and performance of internet services. Broadband is a term commonly used to refer to high-speed internet service. Broadband Internet service providers (ISPs or providers) that offer fixed, or home, internet services, and/or mobile service plans are required to have a label for each service plan they offer. The standardization of these labels allows consumers to compare different internet service plans side-by-side, making it easier to select the plan that best meets their needs.

Fixed broadband services are provided to your home, or a single location. These include cable, fiber optic, DSL, and fixed wireless internet services. You can find a sample fixed broadband disclosure label by visiting: https://www.fcc.gov/sites/default/files/Broadband-Facts-Sample-Label-Fixed.pdf

Mobile Broadband services are device-based and available throughout the service provider's cellular coverage area. They include 3G, 4G, and 5G services offered by mobile, or cellular, providers. You can find a sample mobile broadband disclosure label by visiting: https://www.fcc.gov/sites/default/files/Broadband-Facts-Sample-Label-Mobile.pdf

The labels include the following information:

Monthly Price is the cost of the plan before additional charges and monthly fees such as modem rentals and taxes are added. Some providers may offer an all-inclusive price that represents the total cost inclusive of all taxes and fees.

Introductory Rate is a limited time price that providers may offer to customers. If the monthly price is an introductory rate, the label will include either the number of months the rate is in effect or the date on which the introductory period will end, as well as what the monthly price will be once the introductory rate expires. For example, the introductory rate may be $50 per month for 24 months and then after 24 months the price increases to $60 per month.

Length of Contract only applies to plans that require a contract. For plans that do require a contract the label will show the term, or number of months, the contract lasts. It will also include a link to the terms of the contract. Contracts often include early termination fees for canceling before the final month of the contract. If the service plan includes an early termination fee it will be listed in the additional charges and terms section of the label. Note that most plans, including month-to-month plans, are likely to have terms that require the customer's agreement.

Additional Charges and Terms

Provider Monthly Fees are fees that a service provider adds to a customer's bill every month such as a modem rental, online security services, wiring or device insurance, or other equipment related fees. Each fee must be listed out and described on the label.

Some providers may include all monthly fees and government taxes in their base monthly price. If a provider does include all taxes and fees in their monthly price, they will not be broken out in this section of the label.

"Pass Through" Fees are fees related to government programs that providers may choose to "pass through" to consumers, such as fees related to universal service or regulatory fees. Service providers opting to pass through such fees must itemize the fees they add to base monthly prices and include them in this section.

One-Time Fees such as a "connection" or an "installation" fee, or the purchase of a modem or other equipment will be listed on the label. These are fees that are assessed once, often when service is installed or begins. Each one-time fee will be listed along with a description of the fee.

Early Termination Fee is a fee a provider will charge subscribers who end service before their contract expires.

Government Taxes will vary by state and local jurisdiction. Some providers may include these in their monthly price or indicate that they vary by jurisdiction. Other providers will list out applicable taxes line by line.

Learn more about the typical charges that may be included on a customer's bill by visiting: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/understanding-your-telephone-bill#typical-charges

Discounts & Bundles

Discounts

Providers may offer certain discounts, for example, for subscribing to multiple lines, purchasing or financing a phone or other device, enrolling in electronic billing, benefits for Military Service or affiliations with certain membership organizations. Providers may provide a link to a separate webpage explaining such discounts in the "Discounts and Bundles" section of the label.

Bundles

Providers may offer packages or bundles of services, such as combining internet with paid TV. Packages or bundles may have a higher overall monthly cost than the standalone internet service and may include benefits such as free or reduced cost devices, access to streaming platforms, or cloud services. Providers must display a label for their standalone broadband services, but may provide further information on bundled services via a link the "Bundles and Discounts" section of the label.

The broadband disclosure labels originally required a section highlighting the Affordable Connectivity Program and required the provider to indicate if they participated in the program. Due to a lack of additional funding from Congress, April 2024 is the last fully funded month of the ACP benefit. As a result this section is no longer required on the labels. Visit https://www.fcc.gov/document/wcb-announces-final-month-affordable-connectivity-program-acp to learn more.

Speeds Provided with Plan

Broadband speed is typically measured in megabits per second, or Mbps; generally, the higher the speed, the faster a user can download and upload files and stream videos or other content. Some of the fastest services may be measured as Gigabits per second, or Gbps.

Bits are the smallest unit of data and the building blocks in the online universe. A byte is made up of eight related bits that might represent a letter or other character. A kilobit is 1,000 bits, a megabit is 1 million bits, and a gigabit is 1,000 megabits.

The FCC requires that ISPs list typical download and upload speeds for fixed and mobile broadband services on their labels. They are not always the same as the advertised speed and may not be the speed a customer sees when they run a speed test on their phone or other device. Once the service is connected to a modem and any routers set up in the home, the number of connected devices in the home may impact the speed any one device receives.

Typical Download Speed is the speed that data or bits arrive to a device, often measured in Mbps. Higher numbers represent faster speeds. Lower download speeds may impact the quality of video, gaming services, and other applications.

Typical Upload Speed refers to the speed that data can be sent from a device to other devices, often measured in Mbps. Higher numbers represent faster speeds. Upload speed may affect applications that transmit large amounts of information, or bits, such as photo uploads and video conferencing. Lower upload speeds may make it difficult for multiple people in a household to work remotely or attend online classes at the same time.

Typical Latency measures the amount of time it takes for data to travel from one endpoint to another across the internet, in milliseconds. This measurement is often referred to as "lag". Lower latency is an indicator of a higher quality connection, but a small amount of latency associated with the distance travelled is unavoidable. Latency can cause noticeable delays with streaming video, live audio, and online video games. Similar to upload and download speeds the latency shown on the label is what a user should typically expect from the service. High levels of latency can make it difficult to participate in real time communication services like a telehealth visit or a conversation utilizing American Sign Language (ASL).

Data Included with Monthly Price indicates the amount of data the plan provides before extra fees are charged or performance is decreased. This is also sometimes called a data cap and is typically represented in gigabits (GB) or terabytes (TB).

If the plan includes a data usage limit, the provider must disclose on the label any charges or reductions in service for any data used in excess of the amount included in the plan. This is typically displayed as a cost per gigabit. For example, "$5/GB". The label may also include a link to the provider's website with more details about their data usage limits and any costs for additional data.

Network Management is how an internet service provider manages the data that moves across their networks.

A provider must link to its network management policy in the label. The policy must include information about blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization.

Blocking – intentionally stopping certain content from crossing its network or stopping content from being downloaded.

Throttling – intentionally slowing network speeds for certain content or subscription levels.

Paid Prioritization – providing faster download and upload speeds for certain content whether the prioritization is linked to a higher-cost subscription or a deal with content providers.

Privacy Policy: The internet company must include a link to its privacy policy and must comply with FCC privacy regulations for cable and phone records. (Consumer Guide: Protecting Your Privacy – Phone and Cable Records)

A customer support phone number and website must also be included on the label.