Last week, a coalition led by Consumer Reports launched a first-of-its-kind initiative to investigate the cost of internet access in the U.S. We’re asking consumers to visit broadbandtogether.org, where they can test their internet speed, upload a copy of their bill, and tell us about their service (over 25,000 people have already signed up!). We’ll use this information to dig deep on what consumers actually pay for internet, and to advocate for policies that would make broadband more affordable for all. You can read more about the launch below:
Colorado has become the third state in the nation to approve a comprehensive privacy law, following California and Virginia. Governor Jared Polis signed the Colorado Privacy Act, which will go into effect on July 1, 2023. CR praised policymakers for taking action—and for including key provisions, such as a requirement that businesses honor opt out requests submitted via browsers and authorized agents—but urged the legislature to strengthen the law during the next session in 2022. Our recommendations include closing potential loopholes for targeted advertising, ensuring that consumers can’t be charged for exercising their privacy rights, and improvements to the authorized agent provision so consumers can more easily access or delete their data. You can read more about our work in ZDNet.
Consumer Reports applauded a White House executive order aimed at promoting greater competition across a range of industries, including tech and telecom. The executive order covers areas such as antitrust enforcement, including greater scrutiny of business mergers, as well as promoting competition among broadband providers and restoring net neutrality rules. The executive order also highlights the need for right-to-repair rules that would allow people to freely use independent repair shops to get their phones, computers, and other devices repaired, or if able, repair the products themselves.
George Slover, senior policy counsel for Consumer Reports, said, ”These steps to improve competition are key to giving us a functioning marketplace where businesses pay attention to consumers. A marketplace that works for consumers also works for businesses large and small that want to get their products and services to us and give us choices, which benefits the entire economy.”