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

deerheart7

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Well I am one of those unlimited customers of Verizon that did not read the fine print (shame on me) and when I got my new Razr Maxx I wanted to try out the tethering feature. Well I tried to set it up and I thought I did but I could not get my tablet to find the hotspot so I abandoned
the whole idea and went about my merry way. Low and behold I get my bill from Verizon and there is a $25 charge for the hotspot (prorated for the month) and an additional $30 charge for the upcoming month. What the heck! I did call and they agreed to take off $20 of the $25
(needed supervisor approval for the additional $5) and they would credit my account with the other $30 next billing period but advised me to
pay the additional $35 now or I would run into "problems" with a short monthly payment. Whatever!! All I can say is "always read the fine
print". I also go the big sales pitch about giving up my unlimited and going to the shared plan but fortunately for me the customer service
rep looked at my records and said I was using about 3GB a month on 1 phone and about 1GB on my other. She said if I switched I would
need to buy 6GB (3GB for each phone) to be safe and it would cost me more than I was paying. Forget tethering I am keeping my unlimited
plan till they take it away which I know will be coming one day.
 

lloydstrans

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Deerheart7 there is always foxfi, to tether for free. A little buggy for some, myself included but I'm sure the developers and our droid gurus on this forum will figure it all out soon.
 

gunn

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Deerheart7 there is always foxfi, to tether for free. A little buggy for some, myself included but I'm sure the developers and our droid gurus on this forum will figure it all out soon.

I just tested FoxFI again on my RAZR Maxx (4GB plan) this morning and tethering works again. I recall it stopped working right around when I upgraded to ICS so I wasn't sure if ICS or VZW was the culprit (I don't use it regularly).


-g
 

MrKleen

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There has never been an issue with tethering for those that really want to do it. Just because some apps were blocked from the market doesn't mean you can't get and use tethering apps. Of course being rooted is helpful...

Nobody has ever been really blocked if they really wanted to tether.
 

lloydstrans

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Gunn, nice to hear that. ICS screwed mine up also. Haven't try it lately though.
 

WookieClaws

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I'm not on an unlimited plan; I joined VZW after that was no longer offered. I do get 4GB of data for the price of 2G :). I've always thought that since I'm not on an unlimited plan that I should be able to tether for free (I pay for what I use, how I use it is up to me). Not something I want to do often, but there's times it would be nice. I've considered the shared plan but haven't made the jump yet. This line makes me think that indeed VZW can't charge me $20 to tether:

"in addition, the company recently revised its service offerings such that consumers on usage-based pricing plans may tether, using any application, without paying an additional fee."

I tried to create a hotspot the 'offical' way and get a message saying to call VZW. I'm tempted to call and say "enable my hotspot for free as per the FCC ruling". Wonder what they will say?
 

electricman58

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I would go for it! Its what there supposed to do anyway!?

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Droid Forums
 

kodiak799

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There has never been an issue with tethering for those that really want to do it. Just because some apps were blocked from the market doesn't mean you can't get and use tethering apps. Of course being rooted is helpful...

Nobody has ever been really blocked if they really wanted to tether.

This. And the govt did not appear to take issue with the TOS. Rather, the fine is for blocking certain apps from the market. The ruling doesn't say anything (that I see) about VZW charging for tethering or not allowing tethering on unlimited plans, only that they can't prevent you from directly installing tethering apps from the market.

But in a kind of perverse way, it is perhaps comical that the outrage over the share plans might be at least partially related to the outrage and sense of entitlement over not being able to tether [officially] on unlimited plans. The grass is not always greener, lol.
 

skennelly

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There has never been an issue with tethering for those that really want to do it. Just because some apps were blocked from the market doesn't mean you can't get and use tethering apps. Of course being rooted is helpful...

Nobody has ever been really blocked if they really wanted to tether.

True. However, I do remember when you would search the market for any tethering apps while on Verizon's network and none would show up. If you connected to wifi and ran the same search, they were all there.

Sent from my unlocked GTab 2 running CM10
 

Jish

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Got the ICS update last night for my Rezound - tried to wifi tether to my iPad 2 - the iPad listed the phone in the wifi settings, gave me the wifi signal strength icon on the iPad but the little connecting spinner just kept spinning and a check mark never appeared to show it was connected. Tried Bluetooth and the iPad connected immediately to the phone and all Bluetooth icons lit up on both phone & iPad. Speedtest app confirmed connection speed was almost as fast as my wifi speed.
 

wmayo44

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This. And the govt did not appear to take issue with the TOS. Rather, the fine is for blocking certain apps from the market. The ruling doesn't say anything (that I see) about VZW charging for tethering or not allowing tethering on unlimited plans, only that they can't prevent you from directly installing tethering apps from the market.

But in a kind of perverse way, it is perhaps comical that the outrage over the share plans might be at least partially related to the outrage and sense of entitlement over not being able to tether [officially] on unlimited plans. The grass is not always greener, lol.

That seems kinda silly. What good is it for the FCC to allow you to get and use an app like Foxfi (unblocking it on Google Play), if you can't use it ... without paying for it, or having any other controlling aspects thrown at us by Verizon? That was the point of the FCC: "uncontrolling" it. It would be like the FCC saying ... it can't be blocked, and you can install it, but then you are at the mercy of Verizon after that ... no meaning at all then.
 

kodiak799

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Because the TOS was not in violation. Blocking apps IS a violation. The whole point is you can use 3rd party apps with your SERVICE, according to the TOS. Maybe it doesn't make a lot of sense, but it is what it is. They are allowed to charge you for tethering, and prevent you from tethering without paying. But they can't tell you which app to use as that runs amok of anti-trust law.
 

wmayo44

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Ok. Let's settle this right now. Yes, partially, it WAS about blocking apps. And, that was dealt with. But, as it turns out, for those on limited plans, it was a Block C agreement with FCC that caused further action regarding tethering itself. It has become clear that the FCC has agreed to allow the exception (to allow tether charge) for those with unlimited plans.
Yes, the new share plans cover it already. The real winners are those with the older plans i.e. 2GB or 4 GB/month. They, even though they don't have the "Share Plan" style allowance for tethering, MAY tether at will, now.

I was just saying it was more than just about blocking apps. It would like saying you could have a gun, but no bullets. (You can download and install an app, but can't use it). That ALONE, would have been of zero value; well, except in having a victory in principle.
Good for those who get this new situation. I for one, with unlimited, will have to decide to risk getting caught, or simply paying the $1 per day when I do use it (which ain't bad). Do I really want to risk the $3-4/month I typically use it and lose my unlimited - if they were to "gig" me? I hope most folks realize it isn't $30/month all or nothing. You can turn it on and off at will, and pay only for the days you want (pro-rated).
 
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kodiak799

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Technically, it would appear the limited plans were in violation to have a separate tether charge. But it was not a formal charge and the FCC did not rule on it, effectively shutting down any debate nor or in the future by noting VZW has changed the plans.

That's all kind of semantics. I was responding more to people who think this gives them the green light to tether to their heart's content on unlimited plans. The ruling, to me, actually pretty clearly delineates the opposite.
 
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