Today, U.S. Representative Angie Craig introduced legislation to provide consumers with transparent information on broadband services available in the marketplace. The Broadband Consumer Transparency Act of 2021 would require sellers of broadband services to display information in a uniform and clear manner at the point of sale to allow consumers to easily compare plans and to understand what they are purchasing.
Roughly 7 in 10 U.S. adults surveyed by Consumer Reports who have used a cable, internet, or phone service provider in the past two years said they experienced unexpected or hidden fees. In 2016, the FCC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau together rolled out an easily-readable label to help standardize the information meaningful to consumers as they compare plans. However, in 2017, President Trump’s newly installed FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, abandoned the proposal. This concept also passed the House in 2020 during consideration of a broader infrastructure package.
“As we work to ensure that every family in Minnesota has access to affordable, high-speed internet, we also must ensure that consumers have the information necessary to select the best services for their needs,” said Representative Angie Craig. “The Broadband Consumer Transparency Act would require straightforward disclosures in an easily understandable format to help consumers better understand the services they are purchasing and protect against hidden fees and sub-standard internet performance. With record investments in broadband connectivity, including the Emergency Broadband Benefit, it is more important now than ever that we have accurate data to understand the true cost of internet services.”