The FCC has been discussing the possibility of outlawing unstated costs in cable TV bills for some time now.

In an effort to put an end to the practice, the FCC has formally approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking today, which includes seeking to outlaw early termination fees on cable TV.

According to the FCC, these new proposed rules would provide factual information and make cable TV and video service bills easier to read and comprehend. The regulation would establish the genuine cost of the service as the advertised price.

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“No one wishes to pay unnecessary fees for items they cannot or do not want.” Early termination costs imposed by corporations on customers restrict their ability to select the service provider of their choice, as Chairwoman Rosenworcel stated when the regulations were initially made public. “We should make it easier for Americans to use their purchasing power to promote innovation and expand competition within the industry in an increasingly competitive media market.”

The action is a result of President Joe Biden prioritizing the removal of garbage fees from a wide range of businesses, including hotels and cable TV. A number of agencies have been pressured by the White House to remove these fees, which may surprise clients.

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The FCC explains these new regulations as follows:

In order to provide video programming, including fees for regional sports programming, broadcast retransmission consent, and other programming-related fees, we propose requiring cable operators and DBS providers to aggregate the cost of the video programming service as a prominent single line item on subscribers’ bills and in promotional materials, if they choose to advertise a price in those materials.9. In exchange for video programming services (such as broadcast television, sports programming, and entertainment programming), the cable operator or satellite provider charges (or intends to charge) the customer the full amount listed here, plus nothing more (i.e., no taxes or charges unrelated to video programming).

10 The purpose of this proposal is to clearly outline for customers the percentage of their monthly payment that pertains to video programming services and for which they are or will be liable. Similar to the truth-in-billing regulations that the Commission has put in place to help common carrier customers understand their bills and make informed decisions in the market, this will enable consumers to make informed decisions. They will be able to compare programming costs against alternative programming providers, including streaming services; budget for the actual amount that they will need to pay for cable or DBS video service each month; and compare prices among competing cable operators and DBS providers.

Although it will probably take some time for the FCC to have these regulations passed into law, this is a crucial step in the process.


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