CUPS - CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory - Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Broadband Internet Consumer Disclosure Labels Research

The FCC issued a request for comments on proposed broadband consumer disclosure labels in NPRM 22-7. To inform the FCC, we conducted a large-scale two-phase user study with over 2500 participants. In phase 1, we investigated what information is most useful and understandable to consumers while comparison shopping for broadband plans as well as their opinions on the FCC's proposed labels. In phase 2, we evaluated the impact of changes to the proposed labels on consumer comprehension and sentiment. We found that consumers are overwhelmingly supportive of the label concept. They are most interested in cost, speed, and reliability and prefer labels to be concise, yet contain detailed information. They struggle with calculating total costs and determining how performance affects suitability for various uses. While technical terms such as latency, packet loss, and network management practices are unfamiliar to consumers, once the terms are explained they express interest in having this information provided. The changes we tested improved consumer comprehension and were generally well liked. However, we also observed areas for further improvement. Based on our findings, we are proposing a summary and full version of a fixed broadband label. Read more about our research!

November 17, 2022 upate: The FCC issued new requirements for broadband providers to display labels. They adopted some of our recommendations and will be seeking additional input.

Research Report

October 2022 Report

  • Making Broadband Internet Labels Useful and Usable: Preliminary Report on Consumer-Driven Broadband Label Design by Lorrie Faith Cranor, Jon Peha, Christopher Choy, Ellie Young, and Megan Li. October 24, 2022. [full report | executive summary]
  • Early preliminary results slidedeck presented in an ex parte meeting with the FCC in late August is available through the FCC website under Filing #10820081478988

Labels

FCC 2016 Labels

The FCC's proposed broadband consumer disclosure labels as well as details on their NPRM can be found on their website at www.fcc.gov/broadbandlabels.

Our Proposed Labels

These labels were developed based on results from our extensive survey study examining broadband internet consumers' information needs, terminology comprehension, and format preferences. Further refinement is ongoing.

People

Faculty and Research Staff

Articles

Privacy policy