Starting Sunday, cable companies can no longer ‘rent’ you the router you already own

Is your web service supplier charging you each month for the cable modem or router that you bought with your individual cash? Or, maybe, have you ever by no means bothered to purchase these gadgets since you couldn’t escape the price? That price might be unlawful beginning Sunday, December twentieth, and it is best to inform your ISP that you simply’ll now not tolerate it, threaten to sue, and/or benefit from any binding arbitration clause it might have with you.

Final 12 months, Congress handed a legislation that ought to have mounted this ridiculous loophole as of June twentieth, 2020 — and although the FCC managed to extend the deadline six months by spinning up some bullshit about how cable corporations didn’t have the resources to stop charging you money, the legislation ought to take full impact tomorrow.

Do notice that the actual text of the law nonetheless permits some BS to happen. In case your ISP sends you a router, you’ll must return it to keep away from costs.

Frontier specifically has been infamous for charging clients $10 a month for his or her gear “whether or not you employ it or not” — the corporate’s phrases, not mine — however Frontier is clearly conscious it received’t be capable to do this anymore. Beginning this month, the company’s equipment page has modified to take away the half the place it talks concerning the necessary price. Here’s an archived copy of the site from last month if you wish to evaluate.

If you should buy your individual cable modem, I counsel you do. Modems will typically pay for themselves in lower than a 12 months, and the all-in-one router bins that ISPs sometimes present sometimes provide worse Wi-Fi protection than you possibly can simply add to a home your self, notably now that mesh Wi-Fi programs are higher, cheaper, and simpler to make use of than ever earlier than.

It additionally doesn’t assist that within the US, we pay roughly eight to 17 instances extra to lease a modem on common that Asia and Europe do, respectively. That’s simply one of the ways America’s internet needs to be fixed in 2021.

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