47 CFR § 8.1 - Transparency.

§ 8.1 Transparency.

(a) Any person providing broadband internet access service shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of its broadband internet access services sufficient to enable consumers to make informed choices regarding the purchase and use of such services and entrepreneurs and other small businesses to develop, market, and maintain internet offerings. Such disclosure shall be made via a publicly available, easily accessible website or through transmittal to the Commission.

(1) Any person providing broadband internet access service shall create and display an accurate broadband consumer label for each stand-alone broadband internet access service it currently offers for purchase. The label must be prominently displayed, publicly available, and easily accessible to consumers, including consumers with disabilities, at the point of sale with the content and in the format prescribed by the Commission in “[Fixed or Mobile] Broadband Consumer Disclosure,” in figure 1 to this paragraph (a)(1).

Figure 1 to Paragraph (a)(1)—[Fixed or Mobile] Broadband Consumer Disclosure Label

(2) Broadband internet access service providers shall display the label required under paragraph (a)(1) of this section at each point of sale. Point of sale is defined to mean a provider's website and any alternate sales channels through which the provider's broadband internet access service is sold, including a provider-owned retail location, third-party retail location, and over the phone. For labels displayed on provider websites, the label must be displayed in close proximity to the associated advertised service plan. Point of sale also means the time a consumer begins investigating and comparing broadband service offerings available to them at their location. For alternate sales channels, providers must document each instance when it directs a consumer to a label and retain such documentation for two years. This requirement will be deemed satisfied if, instead, the provider: establishes the business practices and processes it will follow in distributing the label through alternative sales channels; retains training materials and related business practice documentation for two years; and provides such information to the Commission upon request, within thirty days. Point of sale for purposes of the E-Rate and Rural Health Care programs is defined as the time a service provider submits its bid to a program participant. Providers participating in the E-Rate and Rural Health Care programs must provide their labels to program participants when they submit their bids to participants. Broadband internet access service providers that offer online account portals to their customers shall also make each customer's label easily accessible to the customer in such portals.

(3) The content of the label required under paragraph (a)(1) of this section must be displayed on the broadband internet access service provider's website in a machine-readable format. Broadband internet access service providers must provide the information in any label separately in a spreadsheet file format on their websites via a dedicated uniform resource locator (URL) that contains all of their labels. Providers must publicize the URL with the label data in the transparency disclosures required under this paragraph (a).

(4) The label required under paragraph (a)(1) of this section must be provided in English and in any other languages in which the broadband internet access service provider markets its services in the United States.

(5) Broadband internet access service providers shall maintain an archive of all labels required under paragraph (a)(1) of this section for a period of no less than two years from the time the service plan reflected in the label is no longer available for purchase by a new subscriber and the provider has removed the label from its website or alternate sales channels. Providers must provide any archived label to the Commission, upon request, within thirty days. Providers must provide an archived label, upon request and within thirty days, to an existing customer whose service plan is associated with the particular label. A provider is not required to display a label once the associated service plan is no longer offered to new subscribers.

(6) Broadband consumer label requirements and the transparency rule in paragraph (a) of this section are subject to enforcement using the same processes and procedures. The label required under paragraph (a)(1) of this section is not a safe harbor from the transparency rule or any other requirements established by the Commission.

(7) Compliance with paragraphs (a)(1), (2), and (4) through (6) of this section for providers with 100,000 or fewer subscriber lines is required as of October 10, 2024, and for all other providers is required as of April 10, 2024, except that compliance with the requirement in paragraph (a)(2) of this section to make labels accessible in online account portals will not be required for all providers until October 10, 2024. Compliance with paragraph (a)(3) of this section is required for all providers as of October 10, 2024.

(b) Broadband internet access service is a mass-market retail service by wire or radio that provides the capability to transmit data to and receive data from all or substantially all internet endpoints, including any capabilities that are incidental to and enable the operation of the communications service, but excluding dial-up internet access service. This term also encompasses any service that the Commission finds to be providing a functional equivalent of the service described in the previous sentence or that is used to evade the protections set forth in this part. For purposes of paragraphs (a)(1) through (6) of this section, “mass-market” services exclude service offerings customized for the customer through individually negotiated agreements even when the services are supported by federal universal service support.

(c) A network management practice is reasonable if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband internet access service.

[83 FR 7922, Feb. 22, 2018, as amended at 87 FR 76978, Dec. 16, 2022; 88 FR 52043, Aug. 7, 2023; 88 FR 63859, Sept. 18, 2023; 88 FR 73535, Oct. 26, 2023]