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Broadband Labels

Farmer in wheat field with tablet

As more farmers and ranchers rely on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops to connect with their operations and the outside information that those require, they should soon get a better look at the fine print of their internet service providers.

On April 10th, larger internet service providers faced a new requirement to include their product’s version of a food nutrition label. In this case, though, The Federal Communications Commission requires the label to break down the services that consumers receive and detail how much each of those individual aspects cost. 

85% of farms in the United States had internet access in 2023, according to the USDA. That number has been increasing as producers become more dependent on two-way access to information and as available technology expands. In 2021 82% of farms had internet access.

Sample broadband label required by the Federal Communications Commission. Image courtesy: FCC.)
Sample broadband label required by the Federal Communications Commission. Image courtesy: FCC.

Here’s what consumers can expect to see on the bill:

  • Monthly price

  • Discounts

  • Bundles

  • Internet speed range

  • Monthly data included

  • Contact information

  • Any additional charges

The Biden administration initiated the label requirements for internet service providers to increase transparency for consumers and reduce surprise billing and confusion.

Providers with more than 100,000 subscribers faced the April 10th FCC deadline to provide the label. Providers with 100,000 or fewer customers have an additional six months to comply.

RELATED: CBS News explains the new requirements, including how the FCC said the changes will help consumers know what they get for their money. The labels are designed to also make it easier to comparison shop between providers. Read that story here. 


American Farmland Owner Hayfields mountains


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