Google Fiber Backs FCC’s Broadband Consumer Labels

Google Fiber CEO Dinni Jain has come out in favor of the FCC's Broadband Consumer Labels, despite many ISPs being opposed....
Google Fiber Backs FCC’s Broadband Consumer Labels
Written by Matt Milano
  • Google Fiber CEO Dinni Jain has come out in favor of the FCC’s Broadband Consumer Labels, despite many ISPs being opposed.

    The FCC voted in favor for requiring ISPs to provide a Broadband Consumer Label—much like the nutrition label on food—to give consumers clear information about the service they are paying for. The move sparked predictable pushback from ISPs, with claims the labels would create a “burden on providers to generate and maintain their labels.”

    Google Fiber appears to be bucking the trend, coming out in favor of the FCC’s requirement. Jain outlined the company’s support in a blog post:

    As part of its effort to improve broadband service nationwide — not just in terms of speed but also in terms of customer experience — the federal government is requiring all ISPs to provide broadband “nutrition labels” on their websites when purchasing service. The point of these labels is similar to the nutrition label on a cereal box (or any other food). They are designed to help consumers make clear comparisons between broadband plans based on key factors such as price and speed and to help them understand what they get for their money.

    Jain goes on to say that transparency has always been a part of Google Fiber.

    This type of transparency is a part of Google Fiber’s origin story. Google was built on the idea that information is powerful. And finding the information you need when you need it can change the game. In fact, doing this made the internet navigable — a digital world where information was readily and easily accessible to anyone online. Historically, easy and transparent are not words that many people would associate with ISPs, and that has to change. Nutrition labels are a start in the right direction for our industry.

    Jain then reinforces what the FCC has already said, that ISPs have a well-established reputation of trying to confuse customers instead of being upfront and transparent.

    Choice, and even more importantly, understanding that choice, benefits customers. Informed customers are happier customers. Since the very beginning, ISPs have played confusing games when it comes to price and speed. From that mysterious 13-month price bump to incurring extra fees for everything from equipment to data usage, it can be impossible to know what you are actually getting for your monthly payment (or even what that monthly payment will be).

    That’s why GFiber has been fully supportive of the FCC’s broadband labels from the very beginning, and why we launched them early last October — six months ahead of this month’s deadline. These labels empower the consumer and set up a strong foundation for what will hopefully be an extremely long term & satisfying relationship for customers.

    Internet service providers are among the most hated industries in America. In that environment, it’s refreshing to see one put customers first and support commonsense measures to improve the customer experience.

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