The transparency rule, 47 CFR § 8.1(a), requires Internet service providers (ISPs) to disclose information about its broadband Internet access services in one of two ways: (1) by providing it on a publicly available, easily accessible website of its choosing or, (2) by submitting it to the FCC. An ISP that does not submit its required disclosure to the FCC through this portal will be deemed as having elected to provide it on a publicly available, easily accessible website of its choosing.
An ISP that submits its required disclosure to the FCC and later elects to provide it on a publicly available, easily accessible website of its choosing should inform the FCC of this change by filing with the FCC a clear statement of the change, including the website where consumers can find the required disclosure. An ISP should submit this statement via the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) as described below.
The disclosure must include accurate information regarding the ISP’s network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services, as required by paragraphs 218 – 223 of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order.
ISPs electing to include their disclosures on a website of their choosing must, at a minimum, prominently display or provide links to disclosures on a publicly available, easily accessible website. Consistent with Commission precedent, the FCC expects that ISPs including the required disclosures on websites of their choosing will make such disclosures in a manner accessible by people with disabilities. ISPs must also disclose relevant information at the point of sale.
ISPs choosing to submit their required disclosures to the FCC must do so electronically, via ECFS. Information on how to file these disclosures in a format that is accessible to people with disabilities can be found at www.fcc.gov/ecfs/help/accessibility. In accordance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Commission must ensure the accessibility of such ECFS postings.
Content of the Disclosures
There are three elements to the required disclosures:
Scope of the ISP's Coverage
- ISPs shall include in the filing:
- Name of filer
- Filer’s FCC Registration Number (FRN)
- Trade name or DBA name under which the described ISP services are offered to consumers
- Type of ISP service (e.g., wired, mobile wireless, fixed wireless)
- Brief description of service covered by the disclosure
- The effective date of the disclosure
- Whether the submission is a new/first-time disclosure or an amendment to a prior submission
Certification of Filing Accuracy
- Each submission shall include a completed certification of accuracy, stating the name and signature of a company official (e.g., corporate officer, managing partner, or sole proprietor) who certifies that he/she has examined the information contained in the disclosure and that all information contained in the submission is true and correct. See e.g., 47 CFR § 1.16.
Substantive Disclosure Submission
- Each submission shall address the categories of information listed in paragraphs 218 – 223 of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order – Network Management Practices, Performance Characteristics, and Commercial Terms, as detailed below. If the ISP does not engage in a specific activity listed below, the ISP should mark it as “Not Applicable” in its disclosure.
- Network Management Practices
- Blocking. Any practice (other than reasonable network management elsewhere disclosed) that blocks or otherwise prevents end user access to lawful content, applications, service, or non-harmful devices, including a description of what is blocked.
- Throttling. Any practice (other than reasonable network management elsewhere disclosed) that degrades or impairs access to lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, application, service, user, or use of a non-harmful device, including a description of what is throttled.
- Affiliated Prioritization. Any practice that directly or indirectly favors some traffic over other traffic, including through use of techniques such as traffic shaping, prioritization, or resource reservation, to benefit an affiliate, including identification of the affiliate.
- Paid Prioritization. Any practice that directly or indirectly favors some traffic over other traffic, including through use of techniques such as traffic shaping, prioritization, or resource reservation, in exchange for consideration, monetary or otherwise.
- Congestion Management. Descriptions of congestion management practices, if any. These descriptions should include the types of traffic subject to the practices; the purposes served by the practices; the practices’ effects on end users’ experience; criteria used in practices, such as indicators of congestion that trigger a practice, including any usage limits triggering the practice, and the typical frequency of congestion; usage limits and the consequences of exceeding them; and references to engineering standards, where appropriate.
- Application-Specific Behavior. Whether and why the ISP blocks or rate-controls specific protocols or protocol ports, modifies protocol fields in ways not prescribed by the protocol standard, or otherwise inhibits or favors certain applications or classes of applications.
- Device Attachment Rules. Any restrictions on the types of devices and any approval procedures for devices to connect to the network.
- Security. Any practices used to ensure end-user security or security of the network, including types of triggering conditions that cause a mechanism to be invoked (but excluding information that could reasonably be used to circumvent network security).
- Performance Characteristics
- Service Description. A general description of the service, including the service technology, expected and actual access speed and latency, and the suitability of the service for real-time applications.
- Impact of Non-Broadband Internet Access Service Data Services. If applicable, what non-broadband Internet access service data services, if any, are offered to end users, and whether and how any non-broadband Internet access service data services may affect the last-mile capacity available for, and the performance of, broadband Internet access service.
- Commercial Terms
- Price. For example, monthly prices, usage-based fees, and fees for early termination or additional network services.
- Privacy Policies. A complete and accurate disclosure about the ISP’s privacy practices, if any. For example, whether any network management practices entail inspection of network traffic, and whether traffic is stored, provided to third parties, or used by the ISP for non-network management purposes.
- Redress Options. Practices for resolving complaints and questions from consumers, entrepreneurs, and other small businesses.
Submit Your Required Disclosures via ECFS
ISPs choosing to submit their disclosure to the FCC must use ECFS to do so, and can access ECFS via www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings:
Once in ECFS:
- Submit your disclosure in the Restoring Internet Freedom ISP Disclosures docket, CGB Docket No. 18-142.
- Insert “18-142” into the “Proceeding(s)” field and then complete the applicable fields before uploading your disclosure documents. For the “Type of Filing” field, please select “Compliance Filing.”
If you have any questions about ISP Transparency Disclosure submissions, please contact ISPdisclosures@fcc.gov.