A New Law Bans Cable TV Providers From Charging for Routers They Don’t Own





Image of a internet cable being cut.

A new law has finally stopped TV providers from charging customers a monthly fee for equipment that the customers have purchased on their own.

ARS Technica first reported on this law that will affect cable and telecom companies. Frontier Communications is the example shared, as they have been charging customers a $10/month “Wi-Fi Router” fee, even if the customer was using a router that they purchased independently. Frontier notes on their website that customers must pay “a monthly lease fee for your Frontier router or modem—whether you use it or not.”

This year, practices like this should change, thanks to a new bill that has been approved by Congress and signed by the President last month.

This is the part of the bill specifying that companies cannot charge for equipment that has been purchased independently.

(c) Consumer Rights To Accurate Equipment Charges.—A provider of a covered service or fixed broadband internet access service may not charge a consumer for—

(1) using covered equipment provided by the consumer; or

(2) renting, leasing, or otherwise providing to the consumer covered equipment if—

“A) the provider has not provided the equipment to the consumer; or

(B) the consumer has returned the equipment to the provider, except to the extent that the charge relates to the period beginning on the date when the provider provided the equipment to the consumer and ending on the date when the consumer returned the equipment to the provider.

This is an update to the Communications Act and is set to be added on June 20, 2020

Frontier told ARS Technica that they will comply with the new law, but not until it officially goes into effect, saying in a statement, “Once the new law is effective, Frontier plans to comply with the requirements.”

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