This is pretty interesting. Verizon has just reached a settlement with the FCC in their ongoing dispute regarding tethering apps. The carrier will pay out $1.25 million to the US Treasury, and will stop blocking the use of third-party tethering apps.
Unfortunately, the decision only applies to Verizon customers for the time being, as it comes as a stipulation in the carrier’s deal to purchase 700 MHz of wireless spectrum from Cox and other cable companies. FCC press release is after the break…
“Under the terms of today’s settlement, Verizon Wireless will make a voluntary payment to the Treasury in the amount of $1.25 million, and has committed to notifying the application store operator that it no longer objects to the availability of the tethering applications to C-Block network customers in the operator’s online market. Verizon Wireless has also agreed to implement a compliance plan, requiring that:
1. employees will receive training on compliance with the C Block rules.
2. future communications with application store operators regarding the availability of applications to Verizon Wireless customers will be reviewed in advance by legal counsel.
3. Verizon will report any instances of noncompliance with the rule at issue that might occur during the two-year term of the plan.
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.”
This is great news for Verizon customers, who will not only be free to use their tethering apps of choice, but will also no longer be forced to pay the $20 tethering fee (unless they’re still on an unlimited plan).
This is also good news for other wireless customers, as it can’t be long before other US carriers are forced to follow suit.