FCC rules that Verizon can no longer charge for tethering
Rejoice, Verizon customers! Tech Crunch reported the news a few hours ago, here's the link:
Verizon Can No Longer Charge For Tethering, FCC Declares | TechCrunch
And a second one from Ars Technica with the same info but also explaining why it only applies to Verizon:
Tethering apps must be allowed, FCC tells Verizon | Ars Technica
Also posting the first article below:
Verizon has been slapped with a $1.25 million fine for charging customers to use their cell phones as a mobile Internet hotspot, and has declared that it must allow tethering for free. Google must also reinstate tethering applications from its Android store, which Verizon had asked them to remove. This is especially great news considering more Android devices (and perhaps the next iPhone) are 4G compatible, making mobile Internet nearly universal for Verizon customers. Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T customers should prepare to be gripped by overwhelming jealousy, as it only applies to Verizon.
“Today’s action demonstrates that compliance with FCC obligations is not optional,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in a statement. “The steps taken today will not only protect consumer choice, but defend certainty for innovators to continue to deliver new services and apps without fear of being blocked.”
We’re unsure how quickly this policy will be implemented, so if you’re a Verizon mobile hotspot user, and you fall under the non-unlimited data plans that this ruling applies to, let us know when Verizon stops charging you for the service.
Good job to Casey for writing this up real quick. But to answer the number one question so far in the comments...
This will not apply to AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile because the ruling is based on the Upper 700MHz C-block "open access" provision during the 700MHz spectrum auction that Verizon must obey, according to the linked article.
This provision was triggered because the auction for that spectrum went over a certain dollar figure (4.3B if I recall), which was ironically pushed up that high by Google, who now is blocking tethering apps from the Android marketplace.
This decision is mostly moot because the new "shared everything" plans include tethering by default, so this is no longer an issue as the plans change over from family plans to the new plans.
- CrackBerry Genius
08-01-2012, 12:40 AM #4
- 3,862 Posts
With the new tiered and shared plans I doubt Verizon cares all that much. In fact they might have anticipated all this.
In fact they probably like to see it. Knowing you'll gobble up more data and pay for it one way or another.
Sent from my flip-phone.
- 08-01-2012, 12:50 AM #5
So let me see if I am understanding this correctly.
People are happy that Verizon can no longer charge for tethering, BUT it doesn't apply to people with unlimited data. Therefore Verizon will not charge for tethering as long as you are on their new Share Everything plan. The plan that has included free mobile hotspot from the get go.
Why are people excited again? Lol rejoice everyone, Verizon is being forced to let us use a feature that they offer on their own as long as we give up our unlimited data.
P.S. They're making us give up our unlimited data plan, unless you plan to go month to month off contract for the rest of your time with them. I spoke to a Verizon rep about a week ago and if you're planning on upgrading, regardless of whether your new phone is 4G-capable or not, they're getting rid of unlimited data.
- 08-01-2012, 08:03 AM #8
Maybe share everything is everything beside access.Sent from me using my fingers. Be pantless in 5K. Febreze - for more than smells.
the 50K CrackBerry challenge
- 08-01-2012, 11:34 AM #13
- CrackBerry Genius
08-01-2012, 02:17 PM #14
- 3,862 Posts
My point was I think this is something they planned on with the new plan structures. They see that in the end their wireless networks will start to take a lot of traffic from traditional broadband due to convenience/coverage/mobility. Medical devices. Security systems. All kinds of things. Having to tether at all slows down adoption of this trend. The end game is that everything comes with a cell radio and everything else has WiFi anyway and can use a hotspot. In the end they know it will all be about how much data you want to pay for, not what devices you are getting it on.
It is much simpler to meter your bandwidth use than to police which things you are tethering, etc. That's a simpler way to say it.