Understanding FCC Broadband Labels

Broadband labels are designed to provide easy-to-understand and accurate information regarding the cost and performance of the internet services TDS® offers, as required by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).

Where Can I Find Broadband Labels?

You’ll see the label during the ordering process for internet-only service.

How Do I Read a Broadband Label?

The FCC established a standard design and glossary of terms that all broadband labels use, which you can see here.

What is a “Typical” Broadband Speed?

Most customers can expect to receive an average, stable speed within the range of the service purchased as allowed by the quality and capability of the connection. As the FCC states here (under “Speeds Provided with Plan”), typical speeds are not always the same as the advertised speed and may not be the speed a customer sees when they run a speed test. Once the service is connected to a modem and any routers set up in the home, the number of connected devices may impact the speed any one device receives.

Why Doesn't a Label for My Product Show Up?

The following are the most common reasons why a label may not appear:

  • We no longer sell your internet product.
  • Only standalone broadband products require a label. A bundled product (e.g., broadband internet bundled with TV and/or phone service) does not require a broadband label.
  • A technical error may have occurred. If you think this might have happened, please contact us and we’ll be happy to provide a label if one is available.

Why Can’t I See My Label in MyAccount?

Broadband labels aren’t yet available to view in MyAccount. They’ll be added starting in October, as part of the secondary requirements of the FCC broadband label order.

Why does the FCC Care About Broadband Labels?

Under congressional directive, the FCC adopted rules requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to display a clear, accurate, and easy-to-understand broadband label for each standalone broadband Internet access service (BIAS) currently available for consumers to purchase. Specifically, standalone BIAS means service offered to residential customers and some small businesses; therefore, an enterprise customer purchasing broadband connections via a negotiated contract is not a BIAS consumer.

Moreover, broadband labels are intended to help consumers make informed decisions about the purchase of broadband service. As such, a consumer broadband label, which is often compared to an FDA nutrition label, is intended to help consumers comparison shop for the internet service plan that will best meet their needs and budget. Therefore, on April 10, 2024, labels must be displayed at the point of sale and/or near the advertised service plans. This means labels will be displayed on all of the TDS websites and will be available via other sales channels, including retail locations and over the telephone with customer service advisors. By Oct. 10, 2024, TDS must also make the information in the labels machine-readable to enable third parties to more easily collect and aggregate data for the purpose of creating comparison-shopping tools for consumers.

In keeping with longstanding transparency rules, the label’s content will disclose important facts about broadband prices, introductory rates, data allowances and broadband performance metrics, such as speed and latency. Additionally, the label must also include links to information about network management practices and privacy policies. Such disclosures are intended to provide clear language that informs consumers and reduces the likelihood of surprise fees associated with consumers’ internet service bills.