FCC RULING ON HOTSPOT FOR UNLIMITED

tips456
Member

So can Unlimited data users take advantage of the ruling because the internet seems quite conflicted and I was hoping someone could give me a sure answer.

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NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C.  20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action.  Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:

July 31, 2012

<deleted>

VERIZON WIRELESS TO PAY $1.25 MILLION TO SETTLE INVESTIGATION

INTO BLOCKING OF CONSUMERS’ ACCESS TO CERTAIN MOBILE BROADBAND

APPLICATIONS

Washington, D.C. – Today the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau released a $1.25 million consent decree with

Verizon Wireless that resolves an investigation into whether the company had fully complied with the

FCC’s “C Block rules,” requiring licensees of C Block spectrum to allow customers to freely use the

devices and applications of their choosing. 

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said, “Today’s action demonstrates that compliance with FCC

obligations is not optional. The open device and application obligations were core conditions when

Verizon purchased the C-block spectrum.  The massive innovation and investment fueled by the Internet

have been driven by consumer choice in both devices and applications.  The steps taken today will not

only protect consumer choice, but defend certainty for innovators to continue to deliver new services and

apps without fear of being blocked.”

Verizon Wireless offers customers its 4G LTE service on C Block spectrum.  Verizon Wireless bid at

auction to acquire that spectrum, understanding that it was accompanied by open device and application

obligations.  Specifically, licensees offering service on C Block spectrum “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,” subject to narrow exceptions.

P. Michele Ellison, Enforcement Bureau Chief, said, “This case was the first of its kind in enforcing the

pro-consumer open access obligations of the C Block rules.  It underscores the agency’s commitment to

guarantee consumers the benefits of an open wireless broadband platform by providing greater consumer

choice and fostering innovation.”

The Bureau launched an investigation after reports suggested that Verizon Wireless had successfully

requested that a major application store operator block Verizon’s customers from accessing tethering

applications from its online market.  (“Tethering” is using a wireless phone as a modem to obtain Internet

access for another device, such as a laptop computer or tablet.) 

The Commission also received an informal complaint alleging that Verizon Wireless had violated the

FCC’s C Block rules by making such a request.  At that time, Verizon Wireless’s terms of service

required all customers who wanted to use their phones for tethering to subscribe to the company’s Mobile

Broadband Connect service, at an additional charge.  In response, Verizon Wireless stated that the

additional fee reflected the fact that customers who tether laptops or other devices have the capability to


use more data capacity than others.  At the time of that response, however, Verizon Wireless required not

only unlimited data plan customers, but also customers who paid for data on a usage basis, to pay the

additional fee. Verizon Wireless asserted that third-party tethering applications could enable its

customers to tether without paying an additional fee.

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:

·

employees will receive training on compliance with the C Block rules;

·

future communications with application store operators regarding the availability of applications

to Verizon Wireless customers will be reviewed in advance by legal counsel; and

·

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.

-FCC-

For news and information about the FCC, please visit: www.fcc.gov

"

Article stating you can : http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/verizon-must-allow-android-tethering-apps-cant-charge-fee-fcc/

Article stating you cannot: http://www.gottabemobile.com/2012/07/31/fcc-tells-verizon-it-cant-block-tethering-apps/

Any answers would be helpful Smiley Happy

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