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Reading Your Broadband Bill

Broadband Fact Sheet


January 2022 — “What a cable company advertises to a consumer as a monthly price for services, and what the consumer actually ends up paying, can be dramatically different.” (Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel for Consumer Reports magazine). In 2019, a representative survey of 2,057 U.S. adults were asked about add-on fees across many industries and found that nearly seven in 10 (69%) Americans who have a cable, internet, or phone service provider reported encountering unexpected or hidden fees in the past two years. The Consumer Reports survey found that the telecom industry (which includes cable companies) was the worst budget-buster of the ones they asked about. Read the full report.

Proposed Solution 

One response to the confusion, first proposed by the New America’s Open Technology Institute in 2015 is a Consumer Broadband Label. A provision of the recently-passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 gives the FCC one year to create regulations to require the display of a broadband label similar to the ones that the FCC. This label would give consumers an opportunity to understand their broadband bill.  An example of this Broadband Label is below:

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