Verizon settles FCC probe into 'tethering' block

Jul 31, 2012

(AP) -- In the first move of its kind, the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday said it's accepting a $1.25 million settlement from Verizon Wireless to end an investigation into whether the company asked Google Inc. to withhold so-called "tethering" software for Internet sharing.

Until recently, phone companies charged extra fees to allow tethering, or sharing of Internet access between devices.

Applications stores, like those run by Google and Apple Inc., have worked with carriers and restricted apps that try to circumvent those fees. But Verizon's LTE network, which went live in late 2010, uses a slice of the airwaves that carries special conditions - the carrier is not allowed to block any lawful applications from devices on the network.

Tuesday's action marks the first time the FCC has exercised its authority over that spectrum.

Verizon said it did not block customers from using third-party applications, and that the settlement "puts behind us concerns related to an employee's communication with an app store operator about tethering applications."

The FCC remarked that Verizon justified its tethering fees by saying that tetherers used more data on the network. But the company demanded the fees even from customers who paid for data based on how much they used, so those users were charged again for the same service.

A public-interest group, Free Press, complained to the FCC about Verizon's practices a year ago.

Verizon eliminated its tethering fees for limited-data plans last month, with the introduction of a new suite of "Share Everything" plans. It hasn't charged extra for tethering on the latest , which is the first Apple Inc. device with LTE access.

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User comments : 3

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Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Jul 31, 2012
It is good to see the FCC on the side of the people now that most of the Corrupt Republican appointees have been purged.
tekram
not rated yet Jul 31, 2012
Too many political appointees. The previous FCC chairman worked for G W Bush's 2000 campaign. The FCC also spent $290 Billion in the last decade, for the amount of work they actually have done, $290 million would have suffice.

Kevin Martin has served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission from March 2005, until the end of the administration of George W. Bush. and as a Republican commissioner from July 2001.

Martin held the post of deputy general counsel for the Bush campaign in 2000 and served on the Bush-Cheney Transition Team. He served in the White House as a special assistant to the President for economic policy before being nominated to serve on the FCC.
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Jul 31, 2012
The President has submitted a budget to Congress that proposes fiscal year 2013 funding for the Federal Communications Commission of $346.78 million. The requested FY 2013 funding level would include: continuing efforts to accelerate broadband deployment throughout the nation; implementing the FCCs reform to the Universal Service Fund programs; improving the FCCs information technology infrastructure and continuing to enhance the security of its systems; investing in the FCCs technical and engineering capabilities to detect interference issues, plan for interoperability needs, and test new technologies; and studying participation in the communications industry.

"The FCC also spent $290 Billion in the last decade, for the amount of work they actually have done, $290 million would have suffice." - tekram

Your budget estimate is a factor of 100 too high.

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