US finally prohibits ISPs from charging for routers they don’t provide and forces price transparency

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by brendanduong » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:15 am
Just spotted this article after noticing all these random voice line taxes I wasn't aware of on my bill ... t-provide/

"The new law isn't just about rental fees for equipment that doesn't exist, so it could become harder for providers to mislead customers about prices in general. A new right to transparency requires TV and broadband companies to provide customers the total monthly charges, including all company-imposed fees and a good-faith estimate of all government-imposed fees and taxes, before they enter into a contract. This notice must also specify the amount of promotional discounts and when those discounts will expire."

If the customer complaints weren't enough to force price transparency, i hope this law will.
by claykeer4 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:06 am
"A new "consumer right to accurate equipment charges" prohibits the companies from charging customers for "covered equipment provided by the consumer." Covered equipment is defined as "equipment (such as a router) employed on the premises of a person... to provide [TV service] or to provide fixed broadband Internet access service."

The companies may not charge rental or lease fees in cases when "the provider has not provided the equipment to the consumer; or the consumer has returned the equipment to the provider."

The new law is an update to the Communications Act and is scheduled to apply six months after passage, which would be June 20. The law gives the Federal Communications Commission an option to extend the deadline by six months if the FCC "finds that good cause exists for such an additional extension." As we've previously written, the FCC hasn't done much of anything to protect customers from bogus rental fees.

If the law takes effect June 20th, after that date, on the face of it it appears that one could return one's non-optional ISP-provided residential gateway (i.e. router) and possibly VOIP/ATA devices to the ISP, without the ISP's agreement, citing the law and requesting the ISP to comply by removing ongoing monthly rental charges for equipment.
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