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FCC Precendent - Rules Verizon Can No Longer Charge Extra For Tethering
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FCC Precendent - Rules Verizon Can No Longer Charge Extra For Tethering - January 10, 2013, 11:44 AM

This ruling will most likely ripple out and touch all the other network operators, and they will have to drop their tethering service charges.

I'm please someone finally realized that when I purchase an allotment of Data under contract or pre-paid, I should not be made to pay $20-30 more for the network operator to enable a feature that is native to my device, or demand that the phone manufacturer remove the option, to prevent me from using the data I purchased in the manner I deem appropriate.

I never understood justifications TMobile made last year when they began blocking tethering on phones that until then, had always been able to tether at no cost, unless I purchased a $20 Tethering plan which provided no additional data or speed, just the ability and authority to re-enable a feature my phone already had.

+1 to the FCC for investigating this and making the correct determination.

Now I wonder if there will be class action lawsuits coming down the pipe.

==================================

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.

Source: Verizon Can No Longer Charge For Tethering, FCC Declares



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Last edited by Heist; January 10, 2013 at 12:41 PM..
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January 10, 2013, 11:52 AM

So this means I can tether soon. But if I switch off ATT I'll lose my true unlimited plan. Almost making it pointless since I'm close to the data limit by using pandora all teh time. ugh


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January 10, 2013, 11:56 AM

I've never paid using PDANet on rooted Android. But it's good to hear I'm not a bad guy anymore.
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January 10, 2013, 12:02 PM

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January 10, 2013, 12:05 PM

I agree it's ridiculous, but just root your phone. I've had unlimited tethering since they started offering data plans on phones.
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January 10, 2013, 12:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tecknojoe View Post
So this means I can tether soon. But if I switch off ATT I'll lose my true unlimited plan. Almost making it pointless since I'm close to the data limit by using pandora all teh time. ugh
You ought not have to switch providers from AT&T now that this ruling has been handed down.

The other Network Operators will have to acknowledge how the FCC ruled with respect to charging independently for tethering and directing the phone manufacturers to neuter tethering ability, and make the necessary changes to fall within compliance.

Nothing stops them from raising everyone's bill by $X dollars and rolling tethering into the the data plan cost - but then this may look like collusion, and then I'm sure someone will file with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) why Network Providers are now bill stuffing a charge for tethering when the feature is not an operator cost and uses the same data which the consumer has paid for.

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I've never paid using PDANet on rooted Android. But it's good to hear I'm not a bad guy anymore.
PDAnet was one work around but it could be clunky at times. You also had to install a client on your computer if you wanted to use, say, your laptop with it.

Also some devices, like the HP Touchpad and others, refuse to accept data from ad-hoc connections.

I jailbroke my Iphone and re-enabled Tethering. Tmobile would send me multiple text message warnings about using it without a plan and threatened to automatically bill me if I continued.

I called and let them know I received their text and would challenge any unauthorized charge on my account. Never heard back .... I'm sure they were stewing on the fact that I wouldn't roll over.



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January 10, 2013, 12:12 PM

IIRC this has nothing to do with other carries.

This has everything to do with an agreement that Verizon came to with the federal government when they purchased a multi billion dollar spectrum of airwaves. There was a stipulation that they cannot charge extra to use other devices on this spectrum (tethering).

The only reason AT&T, etc would stop charging for tethering is simply to be competitive to Verizon -- they are under no mandate by the federal government to disallow tethering like Verizon is.


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January 10, 2013, 12:24 PM

Tmobile just recently started blocking tathering. I filed a BBB complaint about it and the complaint was fowarded to the FCC from what i was told because there is over 45 thousand customers that filed a complaint about tmobile and tathering services
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January 10, 2013, 12:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tecknojoe View Post
So this means I can tether soon. But if I switch off ATT I'll lose my true unlimited plan. Almost making it pointless since I'm close to the data limit by using pandora all teh time. ugh

You can tether now just use FoxFi no fancy unlocking or anything.


Yeah I am old enough to know better. Thing is, I just don't care.
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January 10, 2013, 12:33 PM

very cool, I just enabled wifi hotspot recently because of my axe though FIOS line situation

. I just noticed this artice is from july 31 2012.. I wonder how long it will take to implement on the billing side

I suppose I can do a FTC complaint if they bill me for it since it's well past the court ruling and see what happens.
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January 10, 2013, 01:12 PM

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Tmobile just recently started blocking tathering. I filed a BBB complaint about it and the complaint was fowarded to the FCC from what i was told because there is over 45 thousand customers that filed a complaint about tmobile and tathering services
Man, tathering is the best.


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January 10, 2013, 01:53 PM

Quote:
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Tmobile just recently started blocking tathering. I filed a BBB complaint about it and the complaint was fowarded to the FCC from what i was told because there is over 45 thousand customers that filed a complaint about tmobile and tathering services
Interesting. If there's a petition, I'd happily sign. Tmo tried to offer me the discounted price of $15/per mo. because I was "valued long time user."

GTFO. I laughed and told them, "No thank you - I'll just continue to use the freely available features of my phone without having to pay you extra for no additional benefit."

Never understood the legal justification or how the FTC could not immediately declare this action illegal.

It would be like buying a car from a dealership, and the dealer electronically disables 5th gear. If you want 5th Gear enabled, each month you have to be pay them a "Gearing Fee."



“Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who are not good. Hence a Prince who wants to keep his authority must learn how not to be good, and use that knowledge, or refrain from using it, as necessity requires”.

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January 10, 2013, 02:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemsonJeeper View Post
IIRC this has nothing to do with other carries.

This has everything to do with an agreement that Verizon came to with the federal government when they purchased a multi billion dollar spectrum of airwaves. There was a stipulation that they cannot charge extra to use other devices on this spectrum (tethering).

The only reason AT&T, etc would stop charging for tethering is simply to be competitive to Verizon -- they are under no mandate by the federal government to disallow tethering like Verizon is.
shit.

I still have the ATT unlimited data plan.. was hoping i could pick this up.

now they need to rule on the throttling bullshit..oh you can use unlimited data..just we can change how much that really is..fuckers


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January 10, 2013, 02:57 PM

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You can tether now just use FoxFi no fancy unlocking or anything.

ooo, i'll try that. Yea I want to avoid unlocking. I don't have the time or energy to haxors my phone these days


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January 10, 2013, 02:58 PM

FoxFi is for Andriod FYI


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