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Cable companies can no longer charge you for a router you already own


Router placed on table
Image: Unsplash

Ever noticed how certain internet providers charge you fees for a router you purchased? Thankfully, starting on Monday of this week, that is now illegal.

Now, the Television Viewer Protection Act has gone into effect which, among other things, bans companies from “charging a consumer for using equipment not provided by the service provider.”

Originally scheduled to take effect on July 20 after being passed in December 2019, it was delayed in order to give the FCC time to find that “good cause exists for such an additional extension.” Obviously, they didn’t find anything.

Then, due to COVID-19, ISP providers were given more time – December 201, 2020.

While many companies had ended those shady practices prior to the bill, Ars Technica notes that Frontier Communications was the main culprit here. It would charge customers a $10 fee for…owning their own router. Frontier’s justifications on the fee were full of contradictions. First, it said the fee was to support higher support costs but then said it wouldn’t support non-Frontier equipment.

Frontier also made sure to take advantage of the extensions, telling Ars that it would “comply with the requirements when the law goes into effect.”

What do you think? Surprised that companies were charging people for their own routers? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Former KnowTechie editor.

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