Fee, not tax wrote:
Not entirely. $6.50 of that $13 is the so-called "Federal Subscriber Line Charge" fee which goes to and is kept by Sonic, even if you never use, or don't have, a telephone. The FSLC is a fee which telcos are permitted (but not required) to charge, up to a maximum of $6.50.
See, for example, this FSLC thread: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3937
Interesting response from Dane in that post from 2016:
We are working toward other ways of packaging and offering "Fusion", and I expect we will launch an Internet + DISH bundle, and an Internet-only option in the future. (Maybe it's just "Sonic", rather than "Fusion") These require elimination of a lot of service integration that we have created in the product, the provisioning and software tools in service today, so it's not a simple switch we can flip. But it is a priority for us, and we know it's costing us sales every day, many consumers do just want internet, or just internet and TV.
Just how much of a "priority" is it when almost 3 years later Sonic is still giving customers the runaround with vague "we're looking into it" language and no commitment to actually doing it?
Unfortunately, this all seems to come down to a marketing decision. Sonic can advertise $40/month service, knowing full well that their customers are going to be paying significantly more than that with all the fees added in later. What's important to them is being able to market that $40 number, not being honest about the actual costs to their customers. But that $6.50 "fee" can't be assessed on an internet-only plan, so Sonic would have to tell potential customers the actual cost up front if they were to build that into their pricing.