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FBA Commentary on “Empowering Broadband Consumers Through Transparency” on Broadband Consumer Label

FBA Broadband Label Comments (3-9-2022)The Fiber Broadband Association (“FBA”) hereby submits comments in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) issued by the Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) in the above-captioned proceeding. The NPRM seeks to implement Section of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which directs the Commission to adopt regulations requiring the display of broadband consumer labels. FBA’s comments are directed solely to one issue: expanding the content of the label to include the type of network technology over which the service is provided. Our proposal reflects the fact that consumers choose a broadband Internet access service (“broadband”) provider, in part, based on whether the network technology is all-optical fiber, hybrid fiber/coaxial cable, fixed wireless, xDSL, or satellite. FBA is not alone in recognizing that the type of network technology is relevant to the provision of broadband service – and thus of import to consumers. The Commission requires that providers identify their network technology when collecting and reporting their broadband availability data. Most recently, the U.S. Department of Treasury encouraged State and local governments “to prioritize investments in fiber-optic infrastructure wherever feasible, as such advanced technology enables the next generation of application solutions for all communities and is capable of delivering superior, reliable performance and is generally most efficiently scalable to meet future needs.” And, numerous consumer ratings entities also highlight the broadband connectivity technology. Thus, as we elaborate upon herein, the Commission should use its authority under the Infrastructure Act to add information about the network technology over which broadband service is provided.