The FCC unanimously approved a proposed rule that will require broadband “nutrition labels” to help consumers understand and compare offers.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will have to display a “nutrition label” so that broadband consumers can understand the bandwidth being sold by a cable provider or phone company or overbuilder or independent ISP (all of which are ISPs for the sake of the label) and compare published speeds (which are always nonsense), data caps (if applicable), bandwidth throttling (which ISPs don’t admit they do), traffic shaping (which ISPs don’t admit they do), and about a dozen other things that don’t have non-technical names, but have a huge impact on a user’s (um… consumer’s) online (um… broadband, err… internet) experience.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the idea of consumer transparency, and a label forcing an apples-to-apples comparison is an obvious way to encourage it. However, this is the government getting between the ISPs and the “sleight of hand” the ISPs have been using to confuse customers for decades. “More WiFis and GBs.” “Watch videos faster.” “Make phone calls at the speed of light.” “America’s best fiber optic network.” This is to say nothing of the names of the hidden fees and the different technical terms that describe distinct services, but will need to be grouped together for the “sake of transparency.”

They should make a reality series about this process. It’s going to be very entertaining to watch. -s

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC and writes a popular daily business blog. He’s the Co-Host of the award-winning podcast Techstream with Shelly Palmer & Seth Everett and his latest book, Blockchain - Cryptocurrency, NFTs & Smart Contracts: An executive guide to the world of decentralized finance, is an Amazon #1 Bestseller. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.

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