Order allows more broadband providers to withhold promotional rates, fee, surcharge, and data cap information from consumers
Washington (February 23, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, blasted an Order approved today by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that allows broadband providers with 250,000 subscribers or fewer to withhold important pricing and performance information from consumers and small businesses. The Open Internet Order established enhanced transparency requirements that ensure broadband providers provide basic information to consumers, including promotion rates, fees and surcharges; data caps and allowances; and data on actual network performance and speeds. Initially, the enhanced transparency rules did not apply to providers with 100,000 or fewer subscribers. But by extending the exemption to broadband providers with 250,000 or fewer subscribers, approximately 9.7 million total subscribers may not have access to this important information.
“Small businesses, students, entrepreneurs, and anyone else who relies on the internet should have access to the most basic and fundamental information about the broadband service for which they pay,” said Senator Markey. “But by granting this carve out for the broadband industry, the FCC has made pricing and performance information less accessible to small businesses and consumers. Consumers deserve truth in pricing information. Instead of allowing ISPs to hide pricing information, the FCC should promote transparency so subscribers have all the background they need to make educated decisions about their broadband service.”