FCC Chair Proposes Ban on Early-Termination Fees for Cable and Satellite TV Providers

FCC's bold move! Proposal to ban early-termination fees for cable and satellite TV providers. Stay informed on the latest consumer protection measures."

Nov 21, 2023 - 13:02
Nov 21, 2023 - 13:02
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FCC Chair Proposes Ban on Early-Termination Fees for Cable and Satellite TV Providers
FCC Chair Proposes Ban on Early-Termination Fees for Cable and Satellite TV Providers

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Jessica Rosenworcel has put forth a proposal to prohibit cable and satellite TV providers from imposing early-termination fees on consumers who wish to exit their contracts. The plan, set for an initial vote on December 13, is part of the FCC's broader efforts to address what it deems as "junk fees," aligning with President Joe Biden's executive order.

Rosenworcel emphasized that, if approved, the proposal would not only restrict the imposition of early-termination fees but also mandate TV video-service providers to refund subscribers who choose to cancel before the end of their billing cycle. The FCC, under Democratic leadership since early October, has been proactive in implementing new regulations to enhance consumer rights.

The recent move follows the FCC's decision last month to advance a proposal reinstating net-neutrality rules and assuming regulatory oversight of broadband internet, a reversal of policies from the previous administration. Additionally, the FCC has taken steps to prevent digital discrimination in access to broadband services, responding to a directive from Congress. These rules empower the FCC to investigate complaints of broadband access discrimination and impose penalties on companies found in violation.

"We have created a process that is aimed at finding solutions that work for all parties," stated Rosenworcel, highlighting the FCC's commitment to a balanced approach. However, Republican FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr criticized the proposal, arguing that it grants the federal government excessive authority to micromanage various aspects of internet functioning.

This latest development comes on the heels of the FCC's November 2022 directive, requiring U.S. broadband providers to display information akin to nutrition labels on food products. Broadband providers must now present, at the point of sale, labels containing details such as prices, speeds, fees, and data allowances to assist consumers in making informed choices.

In June, the FCC had already granted initial approval to a proposal mandating cable operators and direct broadcast satellite providers to clearly and prominently specify the "all-in" price for video programming services in promotional materials and on subscribers’ bills, ensuring transparency in pricing practices.

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