Verizon Fined $1.25 M for Blocking Tethering Apps on its 4G Network

August 1, 2012, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Verizon got a slap from FCC for misbehaving with its customers. The apex body, after a 10-month investigation has found that the network carrier had violated the terms set by it for the 700 MHz spectrum licensee.

Federal Communications Commission has found that the carrier is blocking apps that help the customers make the 4G smartphones as internet modems via tethering.

The agency has also found that the carrier had asked Google to take away certain apps from the Android Market Place since they allowed the users to bypass the $20 additional fee set by the carrier for tethering.

These two moves are blatant violation of the open access conditions put on the block of spectrum by FCC which says that the licensee “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.”

FCC has now imposed $1.25 million fine on the network and directed it to stop blocking apps people use for tethering.

In its response to the initial inquiries from FCC about the tethering fee, the network has said that the fee is levied since tethering users often use up more data. Verizon has put the extra tethering fee to both unlimited data plan customers and also for others who pay per usage.

As part of the proceedings, the carrier will pay the fine to the Treasury and will inform Google that tethering apps are ok. Big Red will overhaul the data plans in such a way that it will comply with the FCC terms.

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