Verizon Nailed with a $1.25 Million Fine by FCC; Must Stop Blocking Tethering Apps

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    Here is some pretty exciting news! The U.S. FCC has recently finished an investigation of Verizon in relation to them blocking third party tethering apps. The FCC ruled that Verizon violated the rules governing the C Block of LTE spectrum by preventing customers from using any application of their choice. Big Red must now pony up a $1.25 Million dollar fine to the FCC to pay for the investigation, and now they can no longer block third party apps from tethering on their network. You will now be able to use third party apps to bypass Verizon's $20 per month extra charge to use their official tethering service, as long as you are on a "usage-based plan." This means that folks still on grandfathered unlimited plans can still have their tethering blocked by Verizon if they choose/are able to do so. Here's the full press release below,

  2. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Well, there you have it!

    Bravo to the FCC! But note the restriction to Unlimited plans...don't misunderstand, they want their money for tethering and will get it one way or another.
  3. jstafford1
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    jstafford1 DF Super Moderator Rescue Squad

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    Well they did away with the tethering charge on their new plans anyways...so nothing really changed.

    Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk 2
  4. Sydman
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    Sydman Premium Member Rescue Squad Premium Member

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    I would say hooray, but that just means they will just come up with a new fee or price hike to charge us so they can cover the loss.
  5. thegreatone3
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    thegreatone3 Member

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    So I've been using FoxFi. Were there better alternatives that were banned by Verizon that will get a second life now?
  6. LoudRam
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    LoudRam Well-Known Member

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    I wonder? Foxfi hasn't worked for my phone even though they said that it would work with HTC phones running ICS. Their example in the Play Store was the One X. Maybe there is or will be another app I can try.:icon_ lala:
  7. tattedupboy
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    tattedupboy New Member

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    Well, I'm on a grandfathered unlimited plan and my phone is rooted, so I just use the built in tethering apps on the ROMs I flash. Nevertheless, it's still nice to have this option.
  8. Narsil
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    Narsil Active Member

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    So, to use the most overused cliched argumentative example on Droid Forums, I suppose this means we can eat at the entire buffet for one price. :biggrin:
  9. Tonik
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    Tonik Member

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    I had this thought in my original thread on this story and wanted to toss it here for the masses. I am happy about this ruling for a reason unrelated to tethering.

    From the FCC's posted ruling above: "Verizon Wireless offers customers its 4G LTE service on C Block spectrum. Verizon Wireless bid at
    auction to acquire that spectrum, understanding that it was accompanied by open device and application
    obligations. Specifically, licensees offering service on C Block spectrum “shall not deny, limit, or restrict
    the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee’s C Block
    network...."

    It says DEVICES. That might be an opening to get some action on bootloaders. There were a lot of FCC complaints about that this winter by VZW customers about the same time as the whole #OPMOSH effort. Not trying to hijack the thread, but I think it is related.

  10. jerkwad
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    jerkwad New Member

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    Good point - but I would extend that even further to say that, possibly, this could be used as a means to forcing telcos to accept any compatible phone on their network? Thus, I could grab a phone found in other markets that run on that spectrum and use it on their network...I HOPE this opens up that can of worms, because it would be one step closer to having a REAL choice in what phone(s) we use and maybe even get off this subsidized BS we have going on here in the US.
  11. wseyller
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    wseyller Member

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    I just wonder now if this puts unlimited data tethers under the microscope. Verizon has never dished out consequences for unauthorized tethering. I could see this change since verizon is going to lose some tethering income. If caught tethering i could see them forcing those on unlimited data to a shared/capped plan.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk 2
  12. TisMyDroid
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    TisMyDroid New Member

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    I was also thinking the same thing... the requirement that verizon "shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee's C Block network," would say to me that verizon's 4g phones should have unlocked bootloaders so that I am not denied, limited or restricted in using my device as I choose. Or am I understanding this wrong.

    Anyway, one small victory for us... sort of because they already have their shared plans in place that address this satisfactorly and us with unlimited plans are still restricted. And like, Sydman pointed out, Verizon will probably find some other way to soak us. But I am thinking that Verizon knew this was coming so they came up with the shared data plans and that is how they're soaking us.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  13. Tonik
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    Tonik Member

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    I would go out on a limb and say they did that knowing they were about to lose this FCC case.
  14. skennelly
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    skennelly Active Member

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    Of course they don't give a $**t about limited data plans tethering. They stand to make a lot of money from them going over their data allowance. Rest assured though, that they will be cracking down on those with unlimited data. This will be their excuse to eliminate the unlimited plans.
  15. nateccnn
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    nateccnn Member

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    Does this aply to those of us who did everything legit from the get go? Grandfathered unlimited data and I subscribe to unlimited tethering? I pay up the *** but they can't take anything away from me now. LOL

    Nate
  16. shockracer
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    shockracer Member

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    All I have to say is

    LMAO..............LMAO..............LMAO.............LMAO!

    I'm hoping the FCC finds more on Verizon to knock them back some pegs, so they learn to respect!
  17. josh1980
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    josh1980 New Member

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    There's no limb at all! Verizon has known this for a while. You don't just agree to a $1.25M fine over night because you can. I'm sure they've known about this for a very long time. They may even be holding off on releasing ICS updates for some phones(I own a Bionic) because they were waiting for this announcement so they could just release ICS without the hotspot feature being an extra fee.

    What is completely crazy to me is that Verizon's fine is equivalent to 62,500 people paying for 1 month of tethering($20). So Verizon did something that was wrong, and they STILL get to profit from it. I want to see Verizon have to pay back their customers that were inappropriately charged for the service on top of the fine.
  18. cs3
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    cs3 New Member

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    When will this be in effect?

    Does this even apply people still on the unlimited data plans, or will we excluded?
    If unlimited data users are excluded, how will Verizon do so?
  19. JoeyJ
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    JoeyJ New Member

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    Am I missing that part in this statement that says unlimited data users can still be denied? I know its in the op but is my phone not connected in this "c block" that Verizon uses?

    Edit: c block seems to be 4G anyways I'm still ob 3g
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  20. MissionImprobable
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    MissionImprobable Well-Known Member

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    As said above VZ will benefit from this anyway since data plan customers will have to pay for overages which will happen easily running your pc data through the phone. Perhaps that's why they initiated this when they did, knowing they were going to lose in the long run anyway.
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