The Federal Communications Commission’s Media Bureau announced deadlines for those looking to comment on whether new truth-in-billing requirements should be pushed from their original effective date in June into December. In a press release today, the Media Bureau set deadlines of April 6 for comments to be submitted, while reply comments must come in by April 13.
At the heart of the matter are what the FCC refers to as “truth-in-billing” requirements listed in Section 642 of the Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019, which establishes consumer rights to transparency, proper notice, the ability to cancel service, and more. Among the provisions listed, companies would have to make it clear to customers what they can expect for monthly charges, noting any discounts and when those promotions would expire.
The section also spells out rules for equipment charges, stating broadband providers can’t charge consumers for using equipment the customer provided themselves (like a store-bought modem or wireless router), and sets restraints on charges for returned gear.
Originally, the requirements were set to go into effect on June 20, 2020, six months after the Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019 was enacted. And now, interested parties have a few more weeks to weigh in on whether that date should be pushed to December 20th. With the comment deadlines quickly approaching, we’ll keep an eye out to see if support grows for a delay.
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