Verizon pays $1.25 million to settle tethering app issue

If you own a smartphone from Verizon Wireless and tried to download and use one of the many tethering apps for the iPhone and Android devices, you might find that those apps didn't work. That's because Verizon has fought hard to block their use in favor of its own mobile hotspot features.

As you might expect, a lot of people didn't like this. That apparently includes the federal government. Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it has reached a settlement with Verizon on this very issue. That includes Verizon paying a tidy $1.25 million to the US Treasury.

The settlement agreement states that Verizon now " ... no longer objects to the availability of the tethering applications to C-Block network customers in the operator’s online market." It adds, " ... 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."

That's good news for most Verizon smartphone customers, who can apparently download and use tethering apps with no interference from Verizon from now on. However, the few remaining Verizon customers who have had their unlimited data plans grandfathered into their current Verizon Wireless contract may be out of luck, as the agreement specifically states this settlement affects "consumers on usage-based pricing plans."

Source: FCC website

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