Media Bureau Grants Blanket Extension of New Truth-in-Billing Requirements in the Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019

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The Media Bureau (Bureau) has granted a blanket extension until December 20, 2020, of the effective date of new truth-in-billing requirements of the Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019, which become effective June 20, 2020. Section 642 requires multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to provide consumers with a breakdown of all charges related to the MVPD’s video service before entering into a contract with a consumer for service, gives consumers 24 hours in which to cancel such service without penalty, requires greater transparency in electronic bills, and prohibits MVPDs and providers of fixed broadband Internet access service from charging consumers for equipment they do not provide. In February 2020, the Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking comment on whether good cause exists for granting a blanket extension of Section 642 until December 20, 2020. Two weeks later, the President declared a national emergency concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. Because the pandemic places additional demands on MVPDs and providers of fixed broadband Internet access service, the Bureau finds an extension is reasonable and justified and will best serve the public interest by allowing providers to focus on continuity of service.

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