News - February 16, 2023

INCOMPAS Urges FCC to Clarify Labeling Requirements

WASHINGTON, D.C. – FEBRUARY 16, 2023 – Yesterday, INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association, signed on to a letter of support for a Petition filed at the FCC by a group of service providers that asks the Commission to clarify the applicability of the broadband labeling requirement to customized services provided in the E-rate and Rural Health Care programs. In the Broadband Label Order, the Commission granted INCOMPAS’ request and clearly exempted customized enterprise services from the label requirements. The Petition asks that the FCC clarify that this exemption extends to these same services offered in the E-rate and Rural Health Care programs.

"INCOMPAS and our members fully support Congress’ and the FCC’s efforts to help consumers comparison shop for better broadband services by requiring providers to offer easy-to-read labels," said INCOMPAS President Angie Kronenberg. "These new labels will help consumers understand price and speed options and to choose the provider and service that best meet their needs."  

"We urge the FCC to clarify that the exemption it applied generally to customized enterprise services also be applied to those same services delivered through the E-rate and Rural Healthcare Programs. Unfortunately, the FCC’s Order is confusing broadband providers, and a clarification is necessary and appropriate as discussed in the letter INCOMPAS joined today. Requiring labels for customized, individually negotiated enterprise services in the E-rate and Rural Healthcare programs would be redundant to competitive bid offerings, confusing to schools and libraries that are the customers, and burdensome to providers. INCOMPAS is concerned that providers may decide not to bid in these programs—resulting in less competition and higher prices being paid by customers and the Universal Service Fund. Such a result would be harmful to competition, which is the opposite intention of Congress and the FCC in requiring labels for mass market customers."