Verizon fined $1.25 million by the FCC over tethering app removal
While the FCC doesn’t much care about the “unlimited plan” part (that sort of marketing fluff is inevitably undercut by wording in the actual contract that you sign), Verizon at least did run afoul of FCC rules in their zeal to force you to pay them an extra $20 a month. They required Google to yank several tethering apps from the Android Market (as it was called back then) when accessed by Verizon phones, and punished some users who side-loaded tethering apps. Google complied, but savvy users noted that this violated the open access requirements that Verizon agreed to when they purchased their C Block bandwidth a few years ago. Specifically the part that reads:
As a result of the violation, the FCC fined Verizon $1.25 million, and is requiring the creation of a compliance team at Verizon to ensure that their network policies don’t violate FCC rules in the future. Of course now Verizon is essentially forcing everyone off of unlimited plans, and has stopped charging for tethering with the advent of their share-everything plans.
So in the end consumers don’t get much more than satisfaction out of this ruling – unless the new compliance group really does stop Verizon from being so overbearing with their app rules. Given the weak slap-on-the-wrist impact of a million dollars and change to Big Red’s bottom line, we doubt they will think twice about making a change if they think it will help their bottom line, regardless of what the FCC thinks.
source : FCC via The Verge