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FCC Sets Truth-in-Billing Extension Comment Deadlines

Coronavirus or no, the FCC is expecting commenters to weigh in with initial comments on new truth-in-billing requirements by April 6, with reply comments due April 13. 

The FCC's offices are closed to the public, with many staffer teleworking. 

The Media Bureau announced those dates Monday (March 16) for the FCC's implementation of the Television Viewer Protection Act.  

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Specifically, the FCC wants to know if it should extend the deadline for compliance with that portion of the TVPA exit months, from June 20, 2020, to Dec. 20. 

The FCC raised the issue of the extension last month. That public notice was published in the Federal Register, which triggered the deadlines. 

The TVPA, which passed last December, obligates MVPDs "to give consumers a breakdown of all charges related to the MVPD’s video service” before those consumers sign a contract, and gives consumers 24 hours to cancel service without penalty." The TVPA also requires more transparency in electronic billing and prohibits MVPDs from charging for equipment they don't provide.  

The FCC pointed out last month that it could extend the deadline for "good cause" and wants to know if there are any good causes out there for a blanket extension.  

It even offered a suggestion on what one of those might be. "For example," it said, "parties seeking an extension could describe the steps they need to undertake to update their billing systems in order to provide the required information to consumers, the time needed to implement such updates, and any associated employee training needed to fulfill the new requirements."