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Verizon Government Wireless Networking

FCC Rules That Verizon Cannot Charge For 4G Tethering 218

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-there-was-much-rejoicing dept.
schleprock63 writes "The FCC ruled today that Verizon cannot charge extra for users for 4G Wi-Fi tethering. The FCC used the original agreement in the auction of the C block spectrum which said '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, subject to narrow exceptions."' So Verizon cannot charge for tethering on 4G service, this raises the question of whether they can continue to charge for tethering on 3G or 1x?"
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FCC Rules That Verizon Cannot Charge For 4G Tethering

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  • Good for the Judges (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nyder (754090) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @06:03PM (#40835095) Journal

    About time we got some smart rulings.

    I don't see why this won't apply to 3G or any other type of tethering either, since it's all the same.

  • Ah-HA (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DWMorse (1816016) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @06:08PM (#40835161) Homepage

    So THIS is why they converted to the consumer benefit-free data-bucket plans. You can add any device to your plan, but they'll make sure it bites your smartphone and every other device in your plan in the ass if you make a single wrong step. Well played.

    FCC: "Can you hear us now?"
    VZN: "Yeah, and we got it covered."

  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @07:05PM (#40835835) Journal

    THIS was an administrative hearing which FUNCTIONS much like a court for most intents and purposes. Therefore the ONLY recourse left to VZ is an actual court. And having already been ruled on by an Administrative hearing, the hurdle is much much higher for VZ than normal court case

    $1.25 million (paid to the Treasury Dept) works out to 5,208 customers paying $20/month for a year.
    Raise your hand if you really think Verizon only had 5,208 customers pay for 4G tethering.

    Corporations love these consent decrees because it means they get a slap on the wrist in return for promising not to do [bad thing] again.
    At the absolute bare minimum, Verizon should be paying back the customers their $20 x # of months.

    Ninety nine times out of a hundred, consent decrees piss me the hell off.

  • Re:Too late... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @07:16PM (#40835927)

    Before you get too excited about switching carriers, I should let you know I'm leaving AT&T because their idea of a contract is that I pay them until the contract is over, but they don't have to hold up their end of the deal. Here's my story:

    Last year I renewed my contract with Unlimited Data grandfathered in. Six months later they announced a 3 gig limit before 'throttling' would begin. (At this point I'd like to note that my contract does mention they'll play around with network performance as necessary, but the 3 gig limit is NOT specified in it.. they just arbitrarily added it.) They do not say, however, what the minimum speed will be. In my view, this is a critical component of the contract. The speed that they reduce the connection down to affects the tasks I can do with my phone. I don't care, for example, if I cannot watch Netflix on the road, but if I cannot get email or text messaging, then how can they really call it "unlimited"?

    I contacted their customer service, after going round and round with lines like "well if you use Wifi..." or "if you switch to a tiered plan..." or "... well it really won't affect you", I could not get an answer. One day I got a letter from AT&T from some VP of such and such department saying that I should be happy because they've upgraded the network in my area and that they're glad I'm continuing to be a customer of theirs. At the bottom was a request for feedback with this VP's email address. I emailed him explaining that I don't know what 'throttling' actually means and, instead of writing me back, he punted my message off to customer service. Frustrated, I emailed again and told them that if they had read my email they would realize that I'm addressing the VP and that customer service was already of no help and.. customer service, NOT the VP, replied again. They said that their network performance was proprietary information that they would NOT share with me. The only way I'll find out how slow my connection will be throttled is if I go over the limit and see what happens. I'm getting to a point where this is very tempting to do. I don't really want to abuse their resources but they're driving me to it.

    If you do end up going to AT&T I wish you luck, but I strongly recommend that you do NOT assume that any contract you enter into with them will mean you'll have any guarantees of service. Two years is a long time to be disgruntled.

  • Re:Verizon only (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MorrisonHiker (2697601) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @07:22PM (#40835987)
    Yep. My friend has the original Google Nexus One phone. For years, he had no problem tethering devices. Then one day, he started getting messages in the web browser telling him that he had to subscribe to a tethering plan for $15 or so a month. I showed him how to change a setting on his browser for the http user agent and he hasn't seen the tethering warning since.
  • by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:05AM (#40838903)

    It must feel really good for Google. They get to slide that knife in 3 years later. They probably did pay some tens of thousands of dollars to line up that $4 billion bid, but that's a drop in the bucket to be able to stick it to Verizon like that. And have the government do it for them.

    It looks like Google is really coming of age. They too have learned to manipulate the federal government, just as all the cable and phone providers before them. :P

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