I did read it. You do not have to pay for the boxes if you just stop watching TV. If you have to pay some minimum amount for “cable TV” to just get cable internet, that sucks. But you don’t have to pay extra for any TV boxes if you don’t want to.
And I was asking where you live because it is unusual situation to have just one provider for internet.
They may not be able to force him to pay for boxes, but then he will still have to pay for a service he can no longer use just so he can get internet. You’re damned right that sucks.
In my experience, it’s not that unusual at all, if you’re talking about actual broadband internet (minimum 5MB/down is the number I’ve seen recently as a cutoff for “broadband,” less than that wouldn’t really work well for cable TV competition anyway). There’s usually the main cable provider, and then depending on location, possibly either Verizon FIOS or AT&T U-Verse, if they’re available in the area–and I think Verizon has stopped FIOS expansion entirely.