FCC: Verizon must allow tethering apps

Stacey Higginbotham at GigaOm: "Verizon customers will soon have the option of downloading Android apps that let them turn their phone into a mobile hotspot –apps that Verizon blocked initially because it didn’t want customers circumventing its $20 a month mobile hot spot fee. The FCC has determined that nation’s largest wireless carrier was in the wrong in this situation because it had purchased spectrum back in 2008 that required Verizon to allow open access to its network."


  1. you’ve always been able to tether, you just had to root your phone first.

    when are we going to get unlocked bootloaders on all phones?

    1. Actually, Verizon has blocked all non authorized tethering for a while now, even those that required root access.

  2. You’ve been able to download at least one free mobile hotspot app for at least a few months now. FoxFi shows up in my Play Store (and I’m a Verizon user). Even if it didn’t, you could always tether without additional fees, although prior to ICS you had to use an app from the Play Store. (this is all without rooting, by the way)

  3. I wonder if this will apply to Sprint, too, since they also require a $20/month extra fee to tether.

  4. My Sprint purchased phone has specific instructions on how to tether. Tethering was also in their advertisement for the phone.

    What’s more strange, I COULD tether while I was still in my 30 day satisfaction guarantee window. On the 32 day my phone updated, and I couldn’t tether. I’ve tried downloading apps, rooting the phone too, no go.

    Why doesn’t my internet service provider SUE my cellular provider? Why is this a one way street? Why is Sprint forcing me to use my Centurylink account but I can’t use my Sprint phone as a modem?

  5. I am sure that the only change that we are likely to see is a new class of “Open Access” phones to satisfy the FCC requirements which will of course cost the full $700 price tag.

  6. So the treasury gets the settlement. What about those people who had been paying the fee? Why don’t they see compensation, bill credit, … something? Was it the treasury who was harmed by the wrongful charge for a service they agreed not to charge for?

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