FCC proposes ban on cable, satellite early termination fees

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a proposal Tuesday to ban cable and satellite television early termination fees.

In a press release, the FCC said these fees may limit consumer choice and “may negatively impact competition for services in the marketplace.” The agency also said the fees often make cable and satellite subscribers pay for a whole billing cycle, even if they end the TV service early. 

“No one wants to pay junk fees for something they don’t want or can’t use. When companies charge customers early termination fees, it limits their freedom to choose the service they want,” FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said in a press release.

“In an increasingly competitive media market, we should make it easier for Americans to use their purchasing power to promote innovation and expand competition within the industry,” Rosenworcel continued.

The proposal will be voted on at a mid-December meeting, according to the release. 

It goes along with the Biden administration’s efforts to get rid of “junk fees.”

President Biden posted the announcement Tuesday to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Companies shouldn’t lock you into services you don’t want with large fees. It’s unfair, raises costs, and stifles competition. We’re doing something about it.”

The FCC also recently voted to bring back Obama-era net neutrality laws last month. These rules give the commission more power to regulate the internet via restricting companies’ ability to enact harmful practices on consumers like throttling and paid prioritization.

“In the wake of the pandemic, we know that broadband is a necessity, not a luxury. That’s why we made a historic commitment to connecting all of us to broadband. Now we have work to do to make sure that it’s fast, open and fair,” Rosenworcel said at the time.

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