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Tethering Complaint Filed Against Verizon with FCC by Free Press

Oh baby.  The blocking of tethering apps by Verizon just got very real after a complaint was filed today through the FCC by Free Press which could potentially impact the future of LTE.  This has been one of those hot subjects around Droid Life over the last few weeks, so we couldn’t help but smile a little when we saw a group of this magnitude taking it straight to the top.

As you may recall, we first reported news that tethering apps had either been removed or purposefully blocked from being viewed and downloaded to Verizon devices.  The move wasn’t necessarily a surprise since we know that Verizon likes to force you into purchasing an additional mobile hotspot service on top of your data plan, but the move was bold.  And then just last week we noticed that even if you had managed to load up a third party app from outside the market to tether, that Verizon was blocking you from doing so.

People grew angry at this for a number of reasons – and the complaint filed today by Free Press pretty much touches on them all.  

We pulled some points out to highlight the arguments they have given to the FCC over blocking tethering apps on LTE (which is where their arguments stands strongest):

  • Verizon’s actions in cutting off access to tethering applications unlawfully “limit” and“restrict the ability” of its customers “to use the devices and applications of their choice.” This practice [blocking tethering apps] restricts consumer choice and hinders innovation regardless of which carrier adopts such policies, but when Verizon Wireless employs these restrictions in connection with its LTE network, it also violates the Federal Communications Commission’s rules.  When Verizon purchased the spectrum licenses associated with its LTE network, it agreed that it would not “deny, limit, or restrict” the ability of its users to access the applications and devices of their choosing.
  • Removing applications from the Android Market severely limits and restricts their distribution. Removing [tethering] applications from the Android Market severely restricts their use.  [Meaning they are harder to find than other apps in the market, therefore are not as easily available as all apps should be.]
  • Mobile broadband providers, including Verizon, offer their own expensive tetheringservices that compete with the free and low-cost options offered in the Android Market. Mobile broadband providers have a financial stake in limiting access to third-party tethering applications. As noted above, many tethering applications are available for free or for a modest fee.  By contrast, when Verizon introduced the Droid, it charged $30 per month for tethering service on top of its $30 per month “unlimited” data plan.

I don’t know that I would get overly excited about this news just yet, but at the same time, we’ll all be wanting to pay close attention to how this unfolds.  I will say though that not only would a ruling to either side by the FCC change the way data is handled on Verizon, it would also likely change the entire smartphone industry in the U.S.

Some thoughts that come to my mind immediately are:

  • Let’s say the FCC tells Verizon it can no longer force us into mobile hotspot plans.  What does that do to our monthly data  bills?  We were already expecting higher data prices this summer with LTE, but can you imagine what they would look like if tethering became uncontrolled?
  • And what if the FCC says, “We think Verizon is fine in doing this.”  Good bye tethering for life.

So, what do you guys think?

Via:  Free Press [PDF], PCWorld

Cheers Corey!

  • john

    verizon locked up and ruined my samsung when tried to use a hot spot app im not even a cutomer anymore they said it was because my # is old vzw # and its net10 problem some one needs to stop vzw unlawful controll of network.

  • jmakingmecrazy

    lets not lose focus on the issue. Streaming video and whatever we choose to use for data is our issue as we will pay if we exceed the allowable amount. We should be able to use the data we paid for any way shape or form we choose. I will provide a signature and many more if a petition is established.. Being a systems integrator for ALL the major carriers, this is a known issue throughout (except for Sprint) but let’s not go there.. you are better off without using Sprint for a phone, let alone-a data plan.

  • Davidjruckman

    I had purchased a Verizon DROIDx phone over a year ago with the express purpose of using it to tether to my GPS and to assist me where mt present ATT phone does not have good coverage. As a professional Land Surveyor I use my GPS every day with my ATT phone. I have been to the Verizon store numerous times to fix the problem and I am paying a tethering fee but am still unable to achieve tethering. Last week at another Verizon store they agreed to send me a new DROIDX to replace my supposedly defective phone. I recieved the new phone and returned to my GPS Dealer to try again to achive tether but we were unable to do so. My dealer has the same DROIDX phone and his achieves tethering via PDANet without a tethering fee in his plan.The new replacement phone still does not achieve the tethering link even though I am being charged for this service. I must now assume that Verizon has some blocking  device in place on my phone and today I am  again traveling to the Verizon store to demand a refund and cancel my service with them.

  • double T

    Back in the 70’s Ma Bell tryed to charge for how many phones they had in their home. How you use your phone to view data should be left up to the user. If the user took up more bandwidth then the company should be left able to charge more. They shouldn’t be able to charge for how much data you view. This would means that freedom of expression and speech is not free at all. But back to the 70’s. The dulling was that the dmark on theyour side of theit house was asyou far as Ma-bell could go. This is the same principal. And thus presidents has been set. The have taken these moneys wrongfully

  • uh60a

    Well I have to  be fair about this.  Is it costing Vorizon resources or anything extra to allow the free tethering other than just making a huge profit?  If the answer to that is no then I beleive they are wrong to want to charge paying customers for a service we are already paying for.  If the answer is yes than I would pay a fair and reasonable price for a tethering service.  That being said, 30$ dollers a month for 5g’s is not by any means fair.

  • Anonymous

    Verizon should allow hotspot for free but when you use it it should turn off the ability to use the phones browser or data and only allow one user as the hotspot. That way there are no multiples using the same data connection. Problem solved. It will be like using your phone but you will being tethering to your laptop. 

  • Clark

    I guess complaining to the FCC is fine… if you like big government.  Whenever we take a case to the FCC, we are asking for more government involvement.  Instead, why don’t we just vote with our wallets, or our creativity and keep government out of it!? 

    Verizon doesn’t owe you/me/us anything!  Believe me, nobody wants free Mobile Hotspot more than myself.  I also want the fancy house down the street from mine.  That doesn’t mean my neighbor has to give it to me.  Just because Verizon has the best network, doesn’t mean they have to GIVE it to us.  You also have the right to choose another carrier.

    If you don’t like a company’s products, policies and prices, then you don’t have to buy them.  Pure and simple.  What if we all ran to the government, like spoiled children running to daddy when our sibling won’t share his birthday gifts.  It’s ideal to share.  Those who share always find out how much nicer life can be.  But it’s certainly not REQUIRED of any corporation (or birthday boy for that matter).  It’s THEIR toy and if you want to play with it, you can ask nicely, and/or pay to use it.  Or you can find a cheaper, better (fill in your own adjective) network.

    Let’s face it, smartphones are nice to have.  But if you are complaining about this stuff, you really don’t NEED a smartphone with a dataplan.  We are always happy to pay for food, right?  We happily pay our rent, mortgage and car-payments.  We even cough it up at the gas pump.  Because we NEED those things.  If you do nothing with your smart phone but play Angry Birds, Facebook and download obscene amounts of fantasy football stats and YouTube videos, you’re angry because you now have to start paying for massive amounts of nothing!  If, on the other hand, you use your smartphone for smart things, education, business or powerful communications beyond phone calls, then an additional $50/mo (data + mobile hotspot) is well worth the price for the value such a technological marvel adds to your life.

    If those things aren’t important enough to a large enough audience, Verizon will lose customers and money and Verizon will re-think their strategy.  It comes down to how much we value that data plan, or that mobile hotspot.

    When I travel on business once or twice a year, tethering (if not mobile hotspotting) is well worth the price.  When I get home — back to my cable internet connection — mobile hotspot is not worth the money, so I call Verizon and turn it off.  If Verizon wanted to make more money from me annually, they could charge $5/mo for mobile hotspot and I’d probably leave it on year-round (they would then make $60 instead of the $20 or $40 they might make from me all year long).  But that’s for them to get figured out.

    I haven’t stepped in line for a Droid Bionic, yet.  It would be nice to have.  It’s feature-set makes a geek like me salivate.  If it holds a true VALUE of $249 FOR YOU, then you’ve probably already got yours.  But until the price is $149, it just isn’t worth the cost TO ME.    Now to which government agency can I complain so that they’ll slap Verizon with a fine for having the audacity to make me pay for a phone!

  • data is data. voip ,texting,vm,mms is all data. just because it is itemized doesnt change that. unlimited is unlimited. Im no longer in contract and feel free to choose a carrier based soley on their merits. so far v has the best call quality which i can get with and basic $100 clamshell phone no contract  And burn my money on a nice tab. 
    My form of petioning is going the google experience way and finding a carrier that offers unadulted android experience. peace out cash cows.

  • robersondonnie

    Thanks for the info. Have argued with Verizon for over 15 months before giving in and paying the additional charge, and I have been with them since 05. Tired of feeling ripped off but want good coverage. Would appreciate any advice. Driver over the road, so service is a must. Thanks Again, Donnie

  • I said it once, I’ll say it again. 

    “What is the difference between using the internet on your phone versus your laptop?”

    Its still the same data travelling through the 3G or LTE networks. NOTHING changes. Since the data rate is the same no matter what, let’s use 3G for an example, 130~Kb/s…playing a game or streaming online media would not differ from Phone or Laptop. So why everyone is complaining about “Uncontrolled Tethering” is beyond me.

    EDIT: RE: Tethering packages
    Those are complete JOKE. I can use up 2GB of data in a heartbeat. With the availability of flash now on our phones, it makes me laugh to think they are trying to scam their customers like this. Your phone can easily use 2GB of data WITHOUT YOU EVEN USING YOUR PHONE! (ie: market updates, verizon apps, etc.).

  • Pmsprunger

    If the fcc sides with Free Press, We will see the “unlimited” term disappear from the smartphone data plan.
    This lawsuit won’t help us. Instead it will force Verizon’s hand to tiered pricing on data. Hence we all loose out.
    The bottom line is that Verizon built the infrastructure to provide us with Data. They have every right to control the amount of data we receive.
     The cable and satellite companies control what channels you watch based on how much you pay, regardless of the fact that the premium channels are piped to you already and then filtered out at your tv set box. Its still illegal to tamper with the signal to receive a channel your not paying for.
    Its just wishful thinking to expect unlimited data that was purchased exclusively for the smartphone  to be applied to your pc without any additional fee.
     But I will keep wishfully thinking anyways.

  • Jai

    Thanks everyone for your retarded comments. They have been very entertaining to read. Teenagers think they know everything.

  • me

    i think VZW should take the plunger out their asses and stop being tightwads!

  • Beasthunt

    Unlimited is unlimited. I pay 30 bucks for unlimited the damn it, it should be unlimited no matter how I decide to use it. Only an idiot would argue with that. If not then let’s sue for false advertisement. There is no way possible you can agree with charging 30 for unlimited service then another amount the same price or greater to share a tiny bit of your already paid for unlimited service, to another device. It’s ludicrous and absurd. Good job to big red for such shrewd techniques but shame on the rest of a so called intelligent country for putting up with such nonsense.

  • Noz17712

    Next thing they’ll find a way to block out netflix altogether.

  • NUmber1pain07

    My PDA Net app Finnaly released an update that Verizon was blocking 2 day ago 🙂

  • Tpeter

    First off, I have a problem with VZ (or any carrier) hobbling
    your phone’s capabilities in the interest of extorting more money from users.
    Speaking for the Droid-X, it has tethering capability built in, so if VZ is
    selling you a data plan, what difference does it make how you use the data.
    When you go to a restaurant and order a meal, you are delivered a plate of
    food, a knife, fork and spoon. Nobody mandates that you eat using the fork and
    if you use the spoon, it’s $20 extra. You pay for what’s on the plate and you
    eat how you see fit. If you want more food, you pay for another plate. So, why
    can’t the telcos market their data plans in a similar fashion? Everything emanating
    from a phone is data anyway, so why are the telco’s hell bent on distinguishing
    whether it’s voice, computer or otherwise. It’s about time that the Neanderthals
    leave the room and someone starts using some fundamental common sense.

    • Jarom Wilson

      Its called Wireless Spectrum. When you start your own wireless company and have to pay for said Spectrum, you can start pissing and moaning about all the money you are loosing on people ” Overloading ” your capacity. ( Just like AT&T ) The wireless services are not unlimited, hence the reason they charge more for you using more then just your phone for Wireless Data Services. and your food analogy is flawed. You pay extra for drinks. Minute usage is a must, texting, data, insurance are all extra. 

  • Jarom Wilson

    This will come down to the ” Terms & Conditions ” every Verizon customer accepted when starting service. Since most of the tethering apps require root its in violation of the Terms of Agreement ” (d) modify your device from its manufacturer’s specifications; ” 

  • Mobile data’s really a con.  I mean, I pay for cable internet in my apartment.  I pay Comcast for it once, and I can use it on my three desktops, my laptop, my wife’s laptop, Xbox 360, PS3, iPad, my Thunderbolt, and my wife’s Incredible.  Meanwhile, Verizon practically gets rid of any phone that isn’t a smartphone, charges me for data on my phone, then charges me again for data on the wife’s phone.  Sure, we can share minutes, but heaven help us if we share data.  Then Verizon wants to charge me for a third data plan if I want to tether my iPad to my phone.  If I’m going to browse the same sites either way, it’s not like I’m using extra bandwidth, here.  Unlimited data… with limits.

    • Custom Colonel

      you’re an idiot if you can’t comprehend that a mobile data plan doesn’t equate to having internet for all your devices.

  • Poker4400

    How can verizon put a advertisement on tv saying to stream movies to your tv with your phone. Then card you for streaming data to your comuter?

  • Uhh.. Something weird is happening. When I try to browse to Droid-Life.com on my DroidX using Dolphin browser, I am automatically redirected to dunsp.vzw.com/NewSelfProvisioning/SelfProvisioning.com

    is this a known issue?

    • actually, if i try to go to any website, i am now redirected…? is it because i installed the wireless tether apk?

  • Pay for it; it’s a service, and the framework for this service is maintained and provided by the company.  It’s not a red cross on the sign, it’s a red check mark.  This is a for profit company, not a hand out.  There is cost and there is value.  If you value the tethering of your phone via a Mobile Hotspot feature enough, then you will pay for it. 

  • Rew6718

    Im so tired of reading peoples comments defending the billion dollar company that touts unlimited data when they sell a plan,and then claims that I’m stealing it if i tether. Its not the old apartment style “run the coax from your apartment to mine” theft of cable service. I’m paying for data that I use. Its not my only form of internet. Also, remember the old government need to get people over to digital TV? That was for these companies to bring “inexpensive broadband” to rural America. So, our taxpayers paid for their spectrum, or at least to free it up. Don’t call me a thief for using something I pay for the way I want to use it when it should be free, based on the term, unlimited. What is next, telling us what types of data we can access from these devices?

  • skinja

    It should really be stressed that VZW uses the public spectrum. We OWN that spectrum. And VZW agreed to certain rules when it leased said spectrum.  VZW is using public property.

  • Decible3285

    Call me crazy, but isn’t this one of the things that Verizon is notorious for that most people complain about again and again? 

    Verizon has a history of crippling phones in an attempt to maximize profits for so called “premium” services- bluetooth, gps, and now tethering. In each case, the masses (as well as the legal status quo) have stepped up and fought with Verizon to free up their devices to these services. 

    Verizon might not make tethering “free” but they very well could be forced to stop blocking access to features designed into the phones they choose to purchase… again.

     

  • There are options other than “yes to all tethering” and “no to all tethering.”

    If every phone data plan had a maximum, and you could reach that maximum with or without tethering–we could tether, and Verizon could still sell it’s hotspots for people who want to transfer more data than the phone-only plans permit.

    Or, they could continue to offer an unlimited phone data plan, but not permit tethering on that plan, while permitting it on plans with maximums.

    Or they could include X amount or X percent of tethering on all data plans.

  • Guest

    One point that there missing is that the “free and low-cost options” from the marketplace are not using there own internet service. They are using Verizon’s data connection. I understand you pay for unlimited data you should get unlimited data but what your paying for is unlimited data on your phone not on your computer. I use wireless tether myself and would really miss it if they were able to block it completely. there is usually always a work around though.

    Personally on my home internet connection I probably download 15+ gb a month. I don’t tether very much because I usually always have a faster wifi connection available and use that, so my phone will reach around 700mb-1gb a month. Computers are going to use alot more data than a smart phone and would put a serious strain on the network if Verizon Wireless became a home internet provider as well because people use their 30$ data packages phone data for home internet. If I had a LTE phone and was getting 11-14 mb/s download and 2-3 upload and was only paying 30$ a month for it. I might consider dropping my 20 mb dsl line and just using my phone tethered to my computer. 

    Also I work for Verizon Wireless tech support but I don’t think that would make me biased, I could give two shits about them. I do enjoy the 25% discount though

  • I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I would much rather have a data cap that I get to choose, and then be able to use that data anyway I see fit. If I wan’t to tether and stream 5 HD netflix movies for my monthy data, so be it. As long as verizon provides reasonably priced data caps for instance. For $30 a month, I think a 20GB is reasonable. Comcast charges $50 a month for 250GB.

  • neener

    They’re billing twice for the same service, we just extend it to a different device. They should be forbidden from double dipping. If they want to charge more like a greedy bunch of asses, that’s fine too, I’ll take my business elsewhere. Screw ’em.

  • Anonymous

    It’s simple. When everybody has had enough of the BS, they stop using the service. Supply and demand folks. Decrease the demand, prices fall and bonuses happen. The more you feed the beast, the less it will be satiated and the more it will want. *end soapbox

  • Kalric

    What I would like to see is the amount of bandwidth Verizon has available for mobile use, the amount that is ACTUALLY being used and compare what they are saying about the availability of bandwidth for all.

    I have a feeling this is just motivated by GREED.   They’re selling phones that have Netflix pre-installed, apps that stream video and audio yet you have to pay out the ass to use them.

    Class action lawsuit is what I see coming.   If you’re going to sell a device that USES data that YOU provide, then don’t charge me extra to use that feature.  Otherwise stop selling the devices, or come up with a cap that someone that streams video/audio can’t possibly hit in a month.

    Just bought the LG Revolution for the Netflix app…already at 7.5GB and climbing.

    S

  • PAUL

    root…nuff said

    • Custom Colonel

      tiers…nuff said.

  • Custom Colonel
  • Custom Colonel
  • Anonymous

    My opinion on this is: Go ahead and tier my data plan, but let me use that data as “I” see fit.
    If I can’t tether, I can’t work. If I somehow use more data by tethering (which is a very small amount) so be it.
    I’m paying for it.  Let me use it.

  • jbonics

    I never used my free wifi teather besides testing it, but I’m pissed, so happy I never bought the xoom from big V. More like big /

  • jbonics

    I never used my free wifi teather besides testing it, but I’m pissed, so happy I never bought the xoom from big V. More like big /

  • This is simply more justification for tiered data plans. They should drop any tethering fees and simply have you pay for the gigabytes that you want to have. No weird service guidelines, no blocking apps and no freeloading by users.

  • Windexwife73

    If you are tetheing to get your info back and forth there is a simple purpose, if you are using as an internet connection and a lot of us are using it, it will clog up the path and slow it down, so for a charge to use the toll roads of wireless (if you will)…not sure of any unlimited plan, but you really can use a lot more than than you can on your phone, guitar hero, streaming video and music, YouTube ect… because yes, it is bigger and easier on the computer side…you will see how fast the usage goes up and sometimes over the plan, costing $$$ so not always a perfect solution for everyone, something I had to learn the hard way…

  • Art

    I get so aggravated with Verizon. I’ve looked into the possibilities of using cellular internet access for emergency support issues when I’m on vacation. I can not justify the expense of a year long contract for the three, or so, times when I could possibly need it. In my opinion, data is data. If unlimited is really limited, then that is false advertising. As it is, I am required to buy more services than I use. Even with tethering, I doubt my usage would increase noticeably of the period of a year. Give me a break Verizon.

    • Anonymous

      First of all, you can purchase the tethering on a month to month basis and do not have to purchase it for 2 years to get your “limited” needs covered.

      You opinion is yours… and you are entitled to it… but that doesn’t make it so.

      Unlimited is set to certain terms or conditions (in this case, it is “on your phone”), you cannot change the conditions and then claim false advertising.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone else phone still tether? I used my Droid to tether yesterday (just to test again) and it worked fine.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone else phone still tether? I used my Droid to tether yesterday (just to test again) and it worked fine.

  • SprottheDestroyer

    Verizon was throttling me before I was rooted and before I had a tethering app. Because on my phone, watching things like news videos, youtube, and foxdotcom. I was using almost 10 gigs a month with just my phone(I didn’t have a tv or a job for almost 3 months). Still payed my bill on time(workmanscomp, blownout knee, recovering from surgery). And I still got throttled by verizon when I was using my “unli/mited” data plan exactly within the rules of my contract. It actually made me root my phone because I was getting the exact same punishment as people that tether and are rooted. And I got emails to prove it. Emails from verizon reps and customer service. Multiple emails. F**k verizon.

  • SprottheDestroyer

    Verizon was throttling me before I was rooted and before I had a tethering app. Because on my phone, watching things like news videos, youtube, and foxdotcom. I was using almost 10 gigs a month with just my phone(I didn’t have a tv or a job for almost 3 months). Still payed my bill on time(workmanscomp, blownout knee, recovering from surgery). And I still got throttled by verizon when I was using my “unli/mited” data plan exactly within the rules of my contract. It actually made me root my phone because I was getting the exact same punishment as people that tether and are rooted. And I got emails to prove it. Emails from verizon reps and customer service. Multiple emails. F**k verizon.

    • Guest007

      just a question. how can you tell that you are being throttled? care to enlighten me?

      • Anonymous

        my guess would be they alerted him.  or he could have used a speed test app and noticed that it never got up to where it had previously

        • SprottheDestroyer

          When I can’t log on to my homepage of google with four bars and 3g, yet my girlfriend who is sitting next to me, can(has exact same phone and on a share plan) and I can’t use my browser(gives me the message, no data connection) and I can’t play any game that uses data(but when using someones wifi I can) and when I email verizon about the problem after a week of that crap, when I emailed verizon my data magically started flowing again. Id say that’s throttling.

          • SprottheDestroyer

            Now that happens everyday, but not continuously. At least with wifi tether, I can browse undisturbed. I can now visit every webpage I want instead of every third webpage on my phones browser failing to load up with a message that says “no data connection detected” still says I got 3g and four bars. That’s not a dead zone. Especially with my girlfriend and my friends all having verizon phones yet I am only one that happens to.

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/2df4ccp

  • Joe

    Verizon should of thought twice before offering “Unlimited” Data – it’s like
    my home internet service provider saying I cannot use my phone on my Wi-Fi
    network because it is only for “Home Computing”.

    Deal with it Verizon until you can change your plans and have caps in place…how much profit is
    enough before you stop ripping off your customers.  Tethering has been out
    there for years and your network and profits have been just fine.

    Just sayin’….

    • Tito

       Should of thought twice?????? They offer you  unlimited data on your phone. By using tethering without paying for it you are the one who is violating the contract not Verizon.  And this “my home internet service provider saying I cannot use my phone on my Wi-Fi network because it is only for “Home Computing”. Makes absolutely no sense at all.

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/2a7usxg

  • The last time I payed for Verizon tethering, it did not work very well at all.  It constantly dropped out and it was limited to 2GB…this is 2011…putting a 2GB cap on data is in no way fair considering the money we pay the carriers and how slow the service is.  U.S. carriers need to stop focusing on limiting us and focus more on building  BETTER TECHNOLOGY that enables more and more people to run fast and free.  It seems like the carriers go crazy signing up millions of customers and then imposing ridiculous limits and charges.  Go Free Press!

  • Buckgrad

    And its not just wireless tethering. The official latest upgrade removed pdanet from my phone, which they also had removed from the market. My computer was able to reload it, but now I get a message that there is a “small update” available in the market. Not about to touch the link…that’s how I lost Netflix initially.

  • I think the first bullet is where they will be able to hit hardest with that. If big red is in violation of their agreement w/ the FCC then that is where the most leverage can be used. The last two seem to touch more on anti trust and free trade issues. This is something that Verizon can argue that they “could” allow tethering apps that still require an authentication from Verizon that the device trying to tether has the required tethering plan.

  • Anonymous

    Best thing to do is … Get a Nexus S for Sprint……….I believe the google device will never loose the features of thetering esp. with Sprint being the Google carrier of choice atleast in near future.

  • Anonymous

    If these 3 are the strongest points, they’re screwed.  The 3rd point is the only relevant one (the other two could be used if Verizon blocked a “Kill the (insert name of ethnic group)” app.  Basically the Free Press is lying by omission.  Yes the LTE auction said that Verizon could not block, degrade or interfere with devices and apps.  Except it added “subject to reasonable network management”.  This part Free press leaves out.  Its that part that would allow Verizon to block free tethering apps.  I don’t think anyone could say with a straight face that allowing unlimited free tethering, which is what the Free Press is arguing for, would be good for Verizon’s network health.  Being forced to allow free tethering apps would be forcing Verizon to accept massive amounts of traffic on its network and would result in the immediate end to all “unlimited” plans.
    A better lawsuit would be against false advertising of the “unlimited” plans.

    • Anonymous

      if the “problem” is that too much bandwidth is being used, then Verizon has already figured out a “solution”.  They cap the bandwidth of the top 5% users – and now, somehow, they also need to remove ALL unpaid for tethering?  But they’re already nerfing their connections, supposedly in an effort to fix the “problem” of bandwidth usage….

      This is entirely a money grab.  It has nothing to do with their bandwidth – they can already throttle it down to nothing if you’re harming the network.  Why do they need to block tethering from people who might fall in the bottom half of users bandwidthwise?  The answer – they don’t.  They just want to charge you more when you’re using less data than average already.

  • RonsterWVU

    I don’t see this going through at all, the days of people being able to free tether is done.

    I don’t have the solution to the above post, mainly because I don’t have the passion to care.
    When I was running Froyo, and had free tethering… I never used it anyway.
    I think this might of had to do with CDMA… Maybe it would of been different with LTE…
    The whole phone call stops the tethering, annoying!

    I can see this getting crushed pretty quickly.
    The arugment above is just silly, and if i worked for the FCC and read that.
    I wouldn’t even think twice about it, sounds just like a cry fest.

    Plus – Verizon can always pull the “If you don’t like it leave card!”

  • Anonymous

    Free Press?  Great.  These people are whacko leftists who I’d rather not be involved in this debate.

  • I honestly don’t mind paying the extra 20 bucks a month if it wasn’t limited to 2GB.  I don’t think people would bitch as much if it were unlimited.  

  • Anonymous

    In Guam we have a carrier that doesn’t charge extra for tethering. Yet their plans cost a bit more than the other three so it pretty much just equals out.

  • Sparticus_78

    When I read about this hear. What I want to know is how the find out if you are using such an app.! They have to monitoring packets which I didn’t think they could do

    • SprottheDestroyer

      They can monitor you google account that’s based from the mobile phone, so they know exactly which apps you have from the android market. And they can do it legally cause the account is connected to your phone. And verizon can monitor anything connected to their network, ie your phone, your google account, your apps

      • Guest007

        incorrect, they cannot “monitor” anything. the 1979 privacy act along with certain FCC rules do not allow this.

      • Anonymous

        online android market linked apps are saved by your google account. unless Im wrong, but thats how i understand it since google will not restore my 3rd party apps. hell, they dont even save my market apps data.

  • Poker4400

    Ok how can verizon put a advertisement on TV telling
    you to streem Netflix from your phone to your to TV. Then turn around and say streeming data to your computer is wrong. Just sounds like a money scam to me.

  • Anonymous

    Verizon was going to charge for tethering because it could get away with it. Someone made the argument here that it is “stealing”. Want to know what is stealing? Charging for texts that cost the telcoms $0.00.

    A $29.99 data plan is on par with bundled cable internet plan. You are paying for TV and internet to keep your services in one place, same as with the Telcoms except you don’t have a choice. You want a smartphone, you pay for not only a monthly plan, but on top of that you pay for data usage. Want to use that data how you see fit? You pay even more. Making an average bill upwards of $150 a month. Add three more smartphones on a family plan? And now you have more than a car payment every month. The dichotomy is that they will sell you on “blazing fast internet speeds” then (very soon) tell you that you are only allowed X amount of data per month before they start raping you for the extra $$.

    The solution to all this is having a company(s) not tied to the telcoms that offers data strictly on it’s(their) own while the telcoms provide the cell service and their own data service, therefore enabling competition in the marketplace and benefiting the consumer. But the lobbyists that infect Washington would never allow something like that to transpire (sorry for the soapbox digression).

    I agree with Kellex, there are really only two outcomes to this. Neither one will benefit the consumer in any way. They know you will keep shoveling your money to them religiously every month because you have no real options.

    • EC8CH

      +1

      I’ve always said the most ridiculous fees are the $20/month texting plans.

      The whole situation is caused more by the lack of real competition in the wireless industry and the lack of any real FCC oversight, as opposed to off contract tethering.

  • Yahoo

    If I have unlimited data on my phone should i worry how much data my phone uses? what if I work as video editor and often find myself watching HQ video demo? What about this one, what if I could watch hours of free streaming tv on my phone from my homeland via web browsing? Then on top of that add web browseing, social app, youtube, and all of the little thing, they can easily add to 5 or 6 GBs a month. I do half of this thing excluding tethering and get close to 6GBs a month, My point is, is not about how much you use but how much money they can make of you! Verizon is just like any other business, they are all here for the money…

  • I can see it now. “Google Tethering” or “Tether by Google” app. That would be a great app. With HTC unlocking the bootloader maybe they’ll throw in a tether app in the ‘bloatware’ and really give the middle finger to big red.

  • Rocktoonz

    My guess is that the only thing that will come from this will be that carriers can no longer claim that their data plans are ‘unlimited’ but it’s going to be an interesting story to watch to be sure.

    • The only thing that will come of this is an END to our unlimited plans. No more $29.95 for unlimited Data.  It will be $1.99 for every KB used.  The only people that will win in a case like this is the Lawyers.  In the end, we will lose.

      • Rocktoonz

        That’s already coming to an end anyway.

      • Anonymous

        Id disagree. data started w/ pay per byte and ppl werent biting because it’s an outrageous price. Unlimited plans were due to end, all for the better since unlimited never means unlimited anymore.

        data pricing may go up w the justifying excuse, but in less than 2 yrs, it’s going to drop back down again to a reasonable price because truth of the matter is tethering itself makes less of a dent to verizon’s wallet than Rooters, and rooters are less than 1% (insignificant as so many would like to claim), and competitive pricing will balance out again.

  • corey

    YEAH I MADE IT TO DROIDLIFE! I provided this news 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Truth in advertising, meet net neutrality.  Someone needs to hold ISP’s feet to the fire on their ‘unlimited data’ claims. If a fight over tethering starts that conversation I say go get ’em. If the FCC had a single testicle in their collective pants they would’ve fought this battle when internet communications moved from analog to digital.

  • Rizzidy

    Quit standing on the sidelines and file your own complaints.  There is real power in numbers.  Stop being pussies.

  • Cb2000a

    Tiered data plans…they are coming to Verizon….then tethering should not matter. 

  • Tom

    Taken from Verizon Wireless’s Customer Agreement(That we all agreed to!) on their website:

    “If you cancel a line of Service, or if we cancel it for good cause, during its contract term, you’ll have to pay an early termination fee. If your contract term results from your purchase of an Advanced Device after November 14, 2009, your early termination fee will be $350 minus $10 for each full month of your contract term that you complete. (For a complete list of Advanced Devices, check verizonwireless.com/advanceddevices.) Otherwise, your early termination fee will be $175 minus $5 for each full month of your contract term that you complete. Cancellations will become effective on the last day of that month’s billing cycle, and you are responsible for all charges incurred until then. Also, if you bought your wireless device from an authorized agent or third–party vendor, you should check whether they charge a separate termination fee.”

    Good cause would = getting a service Verizon Wireless charges for for free.

    If the FCC rules for us to tether, How many news stories of customers being terminated and paying huge ETF’s would it take to stop others?  I’m sure they can track who uses tethering apps.

    • Anonymous

      is that the exact breakdown for the ETA?  In that case, breaking the contract 1 month before it expires would still cost you $110 even though the monthly charge for the account would be less…

  • Ryan C

    Just think if Verizon had to financially compensate the Developers whose apps they blocked over the total time they blocked them from market on Verizon devices! Wow…. yikes.

  • Anonymous

    The problem we have is that between the 2 major players, neither one wants to separate itself from the pack. One does something and immediately the other follows. It’s unfortunate that the other 2 players just don’t have the coverage. People think just because the have unlimited data now, it can’t be taken away. Yoo-hoo. Wake-the-fuck-up.

    Now this tethering crap. When’s the lawsuit coming for ATT?

  • Ryan C

    Dam* it Verizon! Just provide the data and phones and let us do as we wish since WERE paying YOU. and better yet, then you can just let life go on and not worry yourselves over us using the data we already pay for. Thanks again.

  • Wyveryx

    In a strange way I can only see good coming from this.

    1. If VZW wins this and can restrict tethering to their own $$ version, then i predict some other company, don’t know who, will take advantage of it and say, bring your phones and we’ll let you tether. That provides an upstart or current company with more $$ and dents the mighty Big Red.

    2. If VZW loses, well we already knew that prices for data would be increasing, and if it gets insane, then perhaps there would be grounds for another case on price gouging, or fixing the market. After all, if VZW says no, wait, you can’t do this, then throws in their own version, then there might be a case there. Might even be able to get out of contract without ETF’s because of shady wording in the contract. After all, just because a contract is a legal document, doesn’t make it law or in fallible.

    I’m just speaking on the top of my head here, and there is prolly nothing here on #2, but I think Big Red has reached a line that it might not want to cross just yet. It just seems like bad business to me to corner people while on contract.

    My two cents…

  • Anonymous

    ” When Verizon purchased the spectrum licenses associated with its LTE network, it agreed that it would not “deny, limit, or restrict” the ability of its users to access the applications and devices of their choosing.”

    Verizon, you’re BUSTED!

  • Questions? How can Verizon legal begals try to win the case? What will FCC require from Verizon to show costs associated with Data usage? What will us as consumers need to say as an argument to why tethering should be free with non market apps? Could Verizon pull the “safety card”? – non market apps are more prone to hacker and terror attacks!!!

  • Bryan Bacon

    OH snap! take that verizon! try and block a app on my phone? i dont think so!

  • Hay_dusten

    this is ridiculous practice charging for tethering. thats like paying for internet at home, then paying and extra fee to have a wireless router for other devices

    • Tito

       No, that’s not what its like at all. Your paying for unlimited data to your mobile phone only. That’s what you signed up for and that’s what they provide.

    • Anonymous

      Cable broadbands use to do that. Dont kno if any legal actions resulted from it but eventually it stopped becoming against TOS to use our connection on multiple devices.

      hope this results in the same.

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/2a7usxg

  • Anonymous

    I have read about this subject numerous times, in numerous forums. Both sides of the argument have some valid points, but one thing I have not seen mentioned that seems to be a huge deal to me anyway is that I don’t receive any credit for all the data I use from wi fi! I’m on it at work, on it at home, on it when I travel etc. I could probably be using 5 to 10 times the “data” on big red if I didn’t use wi fi yet I don’t see a 10 or 20 credit on my bill when I do. So, if I tether a few MB here and there, I still think they owe me. Just saying….

    • Anonymous

      yes, this is hardly ever mentioned in perspective to tethering data. Ive thrown the thought around a handful of times but not many are taking notice. I give back in using my own wifi far more than I tether. and i dont really tether at all, almost to the point of nonexistent . 

      Iv come to the point where i refuse to use my own wifi because I expect vzw to fulfill their services at 30$.mo

      • Anonymous

        i’ve been doing the same.  I now refuse to use wi-fi at home – partly because tWC sucks but also because I know I’m a low-end user when it comes to data and if I’m getting thrown under the bus with the few users who abuse the system then I’m going to get what I can out of it.

    • Jorje

      Don’t you see? It’s always an opportunity for them to get more money.Before wi-fi was allowed on smartphones they were charging on cellular data without complaining about traffic.Right now when wi-fi is “allowed” they found the tethering issue to complain about the traffic of 0.004% of the users and again to charge more money.

  • Twist30azn2002

    What will happen?

    Everyone will root their phones, and Verizon would stand to lose more since their bloatware would reach less.

  • Mtknight80

    I agree that bandwidth and data should be viewed differently. The data u get on ur device is limited only by ur plan (unlimited data is unlimited no matter what data u send or receive) but bandwidth should be limited by ur connection (3g or 4g etc). We see this tiering already in our homes in the choices we make regarding internet speeds. Let the free market decide what we pay. In the end the consumer will win if we have choices.

  • let em try to block tethering. The community has found it’s way around things before. 
    Let the devs work on it and find a workaround. they usually do

  • YayIWon

    Verizon better get it together or II’m switching to Sprint.

    • Anonymous

      Just switch already. Anyone who needs WiFi tethering should just switch. Problem solved.

  • Djstar2k2

    $40 for unlimited data im cool w/ any more is bogus.  but all i can think of is can some due the same against oems over skins?

  • 3crapdice3

    Once again the dev community is its own worst enemy. Complain about bootloaders, and get them unlocked. At what cost? I believe we’re going to all find out rather shortly. Tiered data, restricted apps, voiding insurance claims because people are rooted etc. 

    • Joelseph

      You may be right.  Lots of beds being made in this situation, especially once the FCC gets involved.  Yikes.

  • Joelseph

    I still think natural competition provides the fairest circumstances.  The screaming minority could very well make a bad problem much MUCH worse.  The FED should only be stepping in when something totally outrageous happens. Otherwise, let them make people mad till they lose customers to the other guys, and then they’ll have to entice them back by rethinking their strategy.

    More than meets the eye to this one.

    • Joelseph

      BTW FED as in Federal Govt, not Federal Reserve, heh…

  • Howard Stern

    I don’t mind paying for tethering but for fucks sake don’t charge me $50 for a few gigs a month, ide rather have limited speeds, limited data is a pain in the ass!

  • Joelseph

    People obsessed with getting something for nothing are slowly destroying the internet, whether it’s this or net neutrality, which only gets support because people are mad about getting rate limited out of downloading illegal movies (Oh but I have a copy of the movie, I’m just backing it up – right).  Sheesh, people bandwidth costs money.  You’re going to pay for it one way or another.  Those saying this will just lead to quicker tiered pricing are right.  It sucks, but it is what it is.

    Will definitely be interesting to see how this plays out, but those saying “I’m the little guy, don’t squash me”, are a being rather naive methinks.

    • EC8CH

      tiered data was coming irregardless of this.

      • Joelseph

        True, but it’s coming unnecessarily sooner, and everyone loses.  Meh, people just don’t get it.

  • Novedk

    I might get flamed, but…
    My TB is not rooted and I might not root, I’m happy with my device and it is stable and no reboots! I would not object to paying VZW $20 extra per month for tethering if it were unlimited, but @ ~$1 per 100 MB it won’t happen.

  • Interstellarmind

    Simple, this gives verizon the ammo it needs to go to a tiered data plan… pay for what you use. It’s a catch 22. Either unlimited data plus a fee for unlimited tethering OR tiered data. Either way, verizon comes out on top. Bastards.

    • Anonymous

      if consumers wins this, it will be a longterm (probably permanent ) success. We may initially lose w Carrier’s reaction by boosting prices on data plans but things will eventually settle and competitive pricing will set the cost back to a reasonable level.

      So many keep saying that this is a loss for the consumer either way.. but I think it’ll be an eventual win.

  • Anonymous

    All this is going to do is push Verizon towards getting rid of unlimited data plans.  Then they can charge everyone more.

    • Anonymous

      and competitive pricing will eventually drive the price back down. Also a reason to be against the TMo At&t merger

  • Anonymous
    • Anonymous

      Nice! Hope Verizon can’t catch this one. I was tethering to my Xoom, not a laptop, so this is perfect

    • Anonymous

      Nice! Hope Verizon can’t catch this one. I was tethering to my Xoom, not a laptop, so this is perfect

      • theterrorwrist

        Its been working really well so far from my DroidX to my Transformer.

  • I’m glad someone made this move. As a small time consumer, I could never make this type of noise. I think, like Kellex said, either way, this will change the game.

    Follw me on Twitter (tomgillotti)

  • get em fcc!

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/2df4ccp

  • MaqSr

    This can go good for the consumer or bad. Now we can get tiered pricing shoved down our throats.

  • Smokncars

    well if you already pay for a data plan why should you have to pay on how you use it like mobile hotspot its your data let us use it or access it how we want.

    • DBK

      Because it’s what you agreed to. You are paying to use the data on your phone only.

      • Anonymous

        why ignore the question?  (let me rephrase) Why should the contract call out tethering as a separate charge?  Besides the fact that “they can” ?

  • Bigsike

    I too only use the tether option as a last resort, at home when my dsl goes out for what ever reason or onsite to diagnose or troubleshoot a pc connection problem I never abuse it and would never think of doing so. Now I am no lawyer but the highlights pointed out in this article seem to be rock solid I would love to see what happens next I for one would not be apposed to a reasonable limit as far as the tether option goes perhaps 5gb per month would suit me just fine and I believe many others so now let’s see what the power of the courts have if we have no say.

  • LODE

    Obviously there are always going to be people arguing both sides of the issue on this one.  I think it should be similar to having cable internet or DSL for your home computer.  Once you pay that monthly fee for unlimited service you can then plug in a wireless router that allows you to connect whatever device you wish to the internet.  What if the ISP then told you that you weren’t allowed to use a router and could only have an internet connection on your one computer?

    • DBK

      The problem with that is that the phone is the modem not the router. And since the cable company doesn’t allow you to hook up more than one device to the modem directly, what makes you think the phone company is going to be any different?

      • Anonymous

        The cable company has no say in what you connect to the modem.  They do (usually) use MAC address filtering to prevent unauthorized modems from connecting to their network, but what’s on your side of the modem is yours.

        I bought a cable modem of my own (instead of renting theirs), called up, gave them the MAC address of the modem, and it was online with whatever I had hooked up to it.  Initially that was just my desktop, but after a while, I wanted more things online so I got a wired router.  Later I got a wireless router (actually, I went through several).  At no time did I have to consult with the cable co to get them to allow these different devices to work with the modem.

  • Michael

    On one hand, carriers claim that only a SMALL percentage of users use an enormous amount of data; on the other, they want to charge for tethering to control the amount of data consumed.

    I’d like to see the FCC crack down on the use of the word, “unlimited”, to describe restricted plans. “Unlimited” should mean just that… unrestricted use.

    In regards to prices going up: I think that the market would eventually set things right, once users vote with their wallets. If only a small percentage of users consume an “abusive” amount of data, then why would Verizon have to charge for added consumption when most consumers don’t seem to be taking advantage of tethering?

    • DBK

      It is unlimited, but only when your phone uses it, which you agreed to when you signed the contract.

      • Hoosiercub

        Your phone is still using the data, stop posting this bullshit. Your phone is using data through an app running inside of android. It just happens that that app allows you to access data on a laptop or tablet.

        • DBK

          Wrong. The phone is not using the data, the device it’s tethered to is. Regardless, the contract also explicitly prohibits tethering without paying. Either way, you agreed to the limits, therefore my point stands.

          • Anonymous

            “Wrong. The phone is not using the data, the device it’s tethered to is”
            Thats the most dumbest statement Ive heard. So is that Modem in your house connected to multiple devices but you dont see providers bitching about where its used. (Tablet, PC, Cell Phone, VOIP ect) 

            Comcast has a 250GB cap.. they dont care how you reach your Monthly cap, they care about your CAP. Yes, your phone is using the data and transferring it over. Same as a modem. DATA IS DATA doesn’t matter what device is using it. If you tether all day and night you’ll reach your monthly data cap. Than its your own fault.Not everyones on the unlimited plan. So lets use those on 2,5,10GB a month. It doesn’t matter how you use your data . you are paying for it monthly and should not be limited to its use OR how quick you go from point A to B a month.  

            If you use 2-10GB a month, with any of its features, your using YOUR OWN MONTHLY DATA FROM YOUR PLAN. Regardless of it being strictly “for” your phone, they are limiting the ability of the phone itself and your data. The phone pulls the data and sends it another device. That is an Android feature . So why should they care how you go threw there 2-10GB ? You pay for X amount of data each month. Instead, they want you to have 2-10GB Data plan 30-80$, 30$ for (wired) tethering , 30$ hotspot (wireless) tethering.

             

      • Hoosiercub

        Your phone is still using the data, stop posting this bullshit. Your phone is using data through an app running inside of android. It just happens that that app allows you to access data on a laptop or tablet.

  • Anonymous

    Let us call a spade a spade. This is and has always been a ploy for Verizon (and other carriers) to get more and more money out of their customers. Let’s not bullshit around the main point. Everyone can argue all day about whether or not their personal data usage is ethical or not but that is what it is. Personally tethering saved my ass twice when I had no wifi and needed to send off two reports. Both times FREE tethering to my laptop to send off 2 word documents saved me numerous hours of pain. If I’m paying for unlimited data, at $30 a month I should be able to do whatever the hell I want to with that data. That is why I’m paying for it. If I wanted a useless piece of shit for $30 a month I would buy one. But I didn’t see because I wanted something useful. So because Verizon and their corporate allies want to make even more then that I should have to pay them? Ha.

    • DBK

      You’re paying for the phone to use your data, not other devices, which you agreed to when you signed the contract.

  • In regard to the “larger screen = more data used” argument, I’d like to see some kind of study or hard data to support this.  Eiteher a legitimate survey or a fair comparison of data used on specific plans (ie, the average use on an average “phone” device, with the definition being a non-tablet device with a handset and built-in carrier telephone number to place and receive calls)   versus a 7-inch tablet (no built-in phone to place or receive calls) and even a 10 inch tablet for comparison sake.

    Now I’m leaving out laptops, because that’s a differnt ballgame altogether.  ON the tablet and phone side of things, we are talking about the same operating system (more or less) runnign the same apps.  When you bring laptops into the equation, you’re looking at more sophisticated machines with hard drives, running Windows, Linux, or Mac.

    I’d really like to see if there actually is such a big difference.

  • Anonymous

    wrong

  • I only use tethering as a last ditch, realizing what was expected of me on my data plan. This past week while staying someplace without internet I found tethering to be a real life saver. I still didn’t abuse anything, tethering *should* be allowed within reason.

    • Define “with reason” 😉

      • EC8CH

        Once VZ moves to tiered data plans, then any tethering use is “within reason” 😉

    • Define “with reason” 😉

    • unfortunately, in this day and age, business doesn’t use the term “within reason”

  • Anonymous

    It is i believe a moot point since the FCC is on no way obligated to answer this complaint at all, and even of they do they are not likely to set any new precedents that may wind up in the courts. The Comcast NBC merger showed just how corporate friendly the current FCC is, and that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

    I actually find this sort of funny. This is like a burglar complaining to the cops that somebody installed an alarm system in their house without the proper permits, so they should be allowed to rob it.

    • Anonymous

      Your argument isn’t correct since tethering isn’t illegal as robbing a house.

      • Anonymous

        Your terms of service state in order to tether you must purchase a plan at a prescribed fee.

        By using an app that circumvents that, you are stealing the service. Whether you agree that they should do that or not is not relevant and does not give you the right to “take” ( or steal) it. So yes the analogy is quite correct.

        • Anonymous

          except that you aren’t nor could you be charged with larceny, aka “stealing”.

          • Anonymous

            Also, not technically correct. No, you almost certainly would not, and the worst that would happen is to have your service cut off … but you ” could” be charged with petty theft (or larceny if the “value” was large enough.)

  • Eric Faden

    There is another interesting argument here with regards to even locking the bootloaders, etc.  Depending on your interpretation it would seem that that would also violate their agreement for LTE.

  • I guess size matters….

  • CyberPete

    keep in mind that vzw isn’t denying limiting or restricting. the fcc didn’t say that they couldn’t charge for their purchased spectrum. just saying…

    • If you cannot download a tethering app purely because you’re part of a certain network, they are denying/limiting/restricting the ability to download an app.

      • the last time VZW played this game, it was with RIM’s/Samsung Omnia with GPS service.  verizon specifically locked GPS functions and required the VZNavigator (PAID) service to unlock them.

        they were forced to unlock the GPS and push out new firmware.

      • CyberPete

        Tethering applications can be used to violate the terms and conditions of the data usage contract between you and Verizon, if you do not pay them what they charge for tethering.  In fact, the Verizon contract (that you and I agreed to) says that you are not allowed to tether, unless you pay Verizon for that service.
        I’m sure that they would be happy to allow you to use (without restrictions or limits) any tethering application you would like, if they were guaranteed the money that they rightfully can and do charge for the service.  If they allowed the tethering apps to be freely available, how would they be certain that when you download that app, you also send them money rather than steal that service that they sell?
        If a self-serve soda machine had a sign that said “refills are $0.25”, would it be ok to refill your cup and not pay?  If the buffet sign stated that “1 trip only allowed”, would it be ok to go back for seconds without paying?  Perhaps the data model is all wrong (I believe it is), because it is currently far too difficult for the carrier to charge “by service”.  They probably need to charge “by kbit” and be done with it. This would solve the problem.

        • Tito
        • Anonymous

          pretty much stopped reading when I saw “rightfully”…   If I agree to allow you to punch me in the face it’s not right, even though I agreed to it.  Is it right to con someone out of money if they agree to it? 

    • If you cannot download a tethering app purely because you’re part of a certain network, they are denying/limiting/restricting the ability to download an app.

  • MrChad

    This is a ridiculous complaint. The terms of service are stated pretty clearly: http://b2b.vzw.com/broadband/bba_terms.html. “Customers who do not have dedicated Mobile Broadband devices cannot tether other devices to laptops or personal computers for use as wireless modems unless they subscribe to Mobile Broadband Connect.” I have a broadband internet connection at home but I can’t host websites unless I pay for a service plan that allows that use. Mobile data plans are no different. Verizon already has tiered pricing and you are easily able to pay a little bit more to tether.

    If anything, this just shows why an AT&T / T-Mobile deal is a terrible idea, because if demand puts price pressures on data plans, a competitive network could (theoretically) offer data plans with tethering for $29.99 or even less. Sadly, with less viable national providers in the market, this is less likely to happen.

    • Nogoodpunk42

      what Verizon force their users to agree to and what they agree with the FCC are two different things. The TOS and their spectrum agreement seem to be at odds with each other.

    • MrChad

      Fixed link: http://b2b.vzw.com/broadband/bba_terms.html

    • Verizon isn’t allowing you to make a choice though.  Whether you choose to violate the terms of service or not should be up to the customer – and if Verizon discovers your violation, they have the right to void your contract, or sue you, whatever.  It’s almost like comcast restricting you access to pirate bay – whether you choose to pirate music/movies should be up to you.

  • Nogoodpunk42

    not that I really want to get involved but the fact of the matter remains ” When Verizon purchased the spectrum licenses associated with its LTE
    network, it agreed that it would not “deny, limit, or restrict” the
    ability of its users to access the applications and devices of their
    choosing.” This is all that matters in this situation. It’s in black and white and I’m sure that it’s written on more places then this blog. Including documents signed by Verizon representatives. The only way I see Verizon getting out of this is limiting all traffic BESIDES LTE.

  • Anonymous

    The cheap tetherers are the D bags responsible for locking bootloaders etc, if they would just not DL 10 gigs of bootleg Torrents every month to their computer from their tehtered mobile connection it would make it easier on us all.

    • Nogoodpunk42

      its always the few bad apples that spoil the batch. Look at insurance rates for an example that hits everyone. The small percentage of people that scam the companies the more $ the honest people pay

    • DBK

      Those that commit warranty fraud are also to blame, but that’s a whole other argument.

      If you tether and use 1 or 2 gigs monthly, that’s one thing. But when you tether and either torrent or play COD or WoW all day, then you deserve to have your service cut and your cheap ass sued.

      • Hoosiercub

        Tethering to play FPS games online or World of Warcraft only consumes at most a couple hundred megabytes if you were playing all day.

        • DBK

          Whatever you say.

      • Pfb1311

        I don’t need to abuse the system but when i signed the contract 7 month ago , the agreement was “Unlimited data plan”, last time I check unlimited means “NO RESTRICTIONS”, oh but I guess this does not apply to cell phone providers.
        One of the most funny things I saw is the add for Tmobile talking about the small print in some other companies , and if you look at the “Unlimited” plan they offer, got an asterisk saying in small print:
        “Tmobile plans offer 2gb at full speed, reduced speed for reminder of billing cycle.”
        Really , no shame!!!!

        • DBK

          The agreement was Unlimited data plan for your phone. You also agreed, per the contract, to not tether without paying for it. If you don’t think the contract applies to you, then don’t sign it and go elsewhere.

        • Adam

          And did you read any part of that contract beyond the title?  My money is on no.

    • Anonymous

      What’s tethering got to do with bootloaders?  You can install tethering apps without having to install a custom ROM.  Some don’t eve require rooting (which, again, does not require touching the bootloader).

  • Shgysk8zer0

    I read fairly carefully and found nothing against tethering in anything that I received. I read the thing twice even. I use tethering in the too frequent event that my Verison DSL is down (seems weekly). I pay too much for intermittent home internet at ~90kBs DL, 120kBs, but it averages more like dial-up. I still pay the same amount for this data. If they are going to charge me extra for one, shouldn’t I at least be reimbursed for the other?

  • Armorthane

    I would think it will come down to how Verizon’s contract reads. If it says that the Phone is what can use the data then that’s one thing, if it says that the user can use the data then that leaves it open for you to tether your data as you see fit. Just depends on how a judge feels that day. Tethering means nothing to me, higher data plans do. Hopefully in the end the rates won’t go up as a result of this issue.

    • DBK

      It says that only the phone can use the data.

  • Anonymous

    I see both sides of the argument but I think Verizon will come out on top. Been using free Wifi Tether app for a year now and im gonna be disappointed but you have to think about the company too. Tethering to laptops definitely uses up more bandwith, and while im sure Verizon has plenty of money, they still have to charge for the use of it. 

  • This is why Sprint looks better each and everyday, unlimited means unlimited. Damn their WiMax technology, it just doesn’t compete with Verizon’s LTE and Verizon knows that. 

  • Tami King

    You know, I’ve never used more than 1 GB of data with my phone, and that includes tethering.  However, I need tethering to do my job.  I was satisfied with wired tethering until I found out I had a little time to use wireless tethering with my Thunderbolt.  However, if they cut off my wired tethering…the application I *PAID* for, I’ll be more than upset.  I am not paying the $20 to tether for 200-300 MB a month.  If they’re going to make us pay for tethering, then make it a REASONABLE amount.  $20 is obscene for someone like me.

  • Anonymous

    PR stunt.  However sometimes PR black eye can be effective…

  • I think what upsets me the most so far is that Verizon said in one of its press conferences that it’s cheaper to run the same amount of data over LTE (by somewhere around as much as 30% cheaper) than it is to run the EXACT SAME data over 3G. So, 5GB of data on LTE costs Verizon the same (roughly) as 6.5GB over 3G. You’d think prices would drop with LTE… oh, I dunno, maybe $25 for 5GB? But no. 4G laptop card prices are very high. Sigh.

    This is probably why they want to phase out their 3G networks eventually. Plus, they wouldn’t need 1x/EVDO radios AND EVDO/4G radios in devices (2 radios) – they’d just need one, the 4G LTE radio (which would allow for thinner, cheaper devices) assuming all devices that use voice services utilize VoLTE eventually. It’s all so Verizon can continue to charge the same amount of $ for their services (or more, probably) but have lower operating costs due to technical enhancements of the 4G LTE network over the existing EVDO network.

    And this is without mentioning LTE-A, the next evolution of LTE that will be coming in a few years. Higher speeds and even cheaper to run data per megabyte.

    • Anonymous

      We will (very likely) get cheaper data, in the form of tiered plans.

      • I think (once again) that it’ll only get cheaper for family share plans. Do all 3-5 of your lines have data? If so, in the end, you may save a little bit by combining all your plans and sharing data (as is the case for voice minutes currently) – but single lines or accounts with just 2 lines will probably still get a bad deal (again, as it currently is for voice plans for 1-2 line accounts).

    • Guest

      the reason prices may be higher with 4G service is they have to recoup their costs for the infrastructure.  It’s called economics, you have to think outside your little square box.

      and 4G laptop card prices have nothing to do with the cost to run the network, not even sure what you’re talking about there.

      • When I say 4G laptop card prices, I mean the price for the monthly data plan, NOT the cost for the actual device (the card itself). Sorry, needed to clarify.

        4G laptop card data plan prices are indicative of what is to come for smartphones (with the impending doom of unlimited data). I’m not even advocating against tiered data – in fact, I think an end to unlimited data is a good thing in many ways. My hope is that Verizon offers at least 4 or 5 price points with tiered data (instead of just one or two options). My fear is that they may in fact offer several price points, but at high prices. I am not sure how to predict family share data plans (which ARE coming), but for individual plans, my guess is that it will mirror current 4G laptop card prices. Again, showing the relevance of current 4G laptop card data plan prices.

      • SA

        Gotta say I’m pretty impressed with the quality of the comments tonight. I was expecting people to just be reaming VZW, but the conversation’s been very sensible. The bottom line is that flowing data costs money, it’s not free. So whenever data flows, someone is paying the bill. Ultimately a carrier has to pass their costs on to its customers or it doesn’t survive. Customers who use a lot of data cost a carrier more than customers who use less. So a carrier can either charge heavy users more, or have lighter users subsidize the heavies. Personally I think the former is more fair (not to mention more efficient from an economic theory perspective): users should pay for what they consume. Looking way out, I expect we’ll eventually see not just tiered data but metered data, ie, pay for exactly how much you use–just like at the gas pump.

        • Anonymous

          one can only hope.  But by then it may be more along the lines of electric and cable companies, where you only pay for what you use but there’s only one game in town and they still set the price.

      • SA

        Gotta say I’m pretty impressed with the quality of the comments tonight. I was expecting people to just be reaming VZW, but the conversation’s been very sensible. The bottom line is that flowing data costs money, it’s not free. So whenever data flows, someone is paying the bill. Ultimately a carrier has to pass their costs on to its customers or it doesn’t survive. Customers who use a lot of data cost a carrier more than customers who use less. So a carrier can either charge heavy users more, or have lighter users subsidize the heavies. Personally I think the former is more fair (not to mention more efficient from an economic theory perspective): users should pay for what they consume. Looking way out, I expect we’ll eventually see not just tiered data but metered data, ie, pay for exactly how much you use–just like at the gas pump.

      • Anonymous

        except the new technology will cost less for them to operate, but those savings dont translate into a lower data plan for their customers. There’s always a reason to raise prices when things will cost more, but hardly a reason to lower prices when they’re saving more, it just all goes into bonuses and investors pockets

  • Guest

    Eventually unlimited plans will have to go in place of pay by the GeeBees.

    Then it wouldn’t matter what you do.

  • ok question, does this only apply to lte devices, i have a 3g device myself, i read a couple weeks back bout how they r changing data plans this summer but it is my understanding it will be for everyone not just lte, correct?

  • Gunmetal

    posted from my laptop using wireless tether. holla.

  • Jsauveur

    I feel that something like this has to happen. Verizon has been very annoying with the way they cripple the capabilites of their phones and selling apps that allow the phone to do what it already had the ability to do. this shows a lack of respect for their customers. 

  • WormDoes

    It’s great to see this, but agree it’s going nowhere. VZW will probably offer some ridiculous $50 unlimited data/tether plan after this is squashed. 

  • Anonymous

    this whole tethering thing makes me want to change carriers

  • Anonymous

    “Let’s say the FCC tells Verizon it can no longer force us into mobile hotspot plans.  What does that do to our monthly data  bills?  We were already expecting higher data prices this summer with LTE, but can you imagine what they would look like if tethering became uncontrolled?” 

    Well if Verizion overcharges for there service, people would just go to a carrier that doesn’t. Forcing Verizon to keep prices low.

    • Anonymous

      Or they all implement extremely high data prices because of a ruling.

      • I don’t see that happening. They could make data rates HIGHER, but not “extremely high”. I see what you mean, though. I am afraid all carriers would be afraid of doing that, for fear of being accused of cross-carrier collusion and anti-consumer practices.

      • That is exactly what is going to happen.  The bandwidth hogs are going to make everyone pay more.

        • That’s why tiered data can be a good thing. Give me 4gb for 25/month and let me use it however I want and I’m satisfied. If you use 10+gb/month, maybe you should be paying more.

          • Anonymous

            unfortunately you’d be lucky to get 1 gb/month for $25.  I mean how much does texting cost them?  There’s an unlimited (truely unlimited) plan for what, $10?  Yet they charge $.25/text for people who don’t buy the plan.  Are they honestly trying to tell us that 40 texts per month is the balancing point?  It isn’t, they’re just trying to get you to pay for a more expensive option.  Something about making the long haul cheaper than the short haul bringing me back to history class..

      • Anonymous

        and since there’s only 3 carriers (and you can’t take your phone with you to another one) then we’re all SOL. 

  • this is bs, they should not be allowed to do this and i hope the fcc tells them they cant, furthernmore, i find it annoying and appaling how they charge you for the mobile hotspot even when u already have the danged 30 a month unlimited data plan, that is just disgusting and another way for then to get money from u, its all total bs!

    • Guest

      It’s BS that YOU agreed to.  If you didn’t like it, why did you sign up for their service?

      • Have you ever heard of an unconscionable clause? The FCC, or more likely a judge, may render the additional costs demanded by Verizon of tethered Internet as void because of this very issue.

      • Anonymous

        Probably due to lack of equitable competition. You ARE allowed to hate things that you’re forced to agree to for decent service.

        Where I live Charter is the only Cable internet service. Guess what? It sucks. What can I do about it? Nothing if I want decently fast internet.

        • DBK

          You are allowed to hate it, but that doesn’t give you the right to go against it.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t need “THE Right” I just need to BE right and my conscience is clear. 😉

          • DBK

            That’s called having entitlement issues.  🙂

  • Anonymous

    Posted from My Verizon Wireless handset attached to an Envy 17 3D using EasyTether Pro.

    • Lol, nice. I should come back here posting on my Xoom tethered via my CM7 Thunderbolt. Mwahaha.

      • Anonymous

        Do it! I’m gonna go around posting with all my different tethering apps. PDANet, EasyTether, Barnacle, Wireless Tether, Wired Tether, and of course stock tethering. 🙂

        • Anonymous

          Well, I’m writing this on my xoom tethered to my incredible while watching a Netflix movie on my wii which is tethered to my incredible also while my wife is on her laptop that is tethered to…you guessed it…her Droid 2.

          Yeah baby.

  • This is not going to end well for consumers.

  • please let us know immediately if they need petition signatures so we can get free tethering!  

    • Anonymous

      I wouldn’t even mind if they capped the free tethering at somewhere reasonable… 5gb or whatever… So that they don’t have people using it as their home internet network. But when I’m out and about with my Transformer I want to be able to use the internet I already pay for with it!

      • That’s still pretty high.

        500-1000MB would be fine. If you use more than that then you should pay.

        500-1000MB would be plenty for people who just use it every now and then to check email or some normal web browsing.

        • Formulanerd

          i think you have no understanding of how little 500mb of data is when you’re viewing full featured websites, or even flash video.

          • Anonymous

            500 mb of data is still A LOT of data if you’re just browsing the web.  If you’re watching streaming video for hours at a time, then it’s not.  I think the 200MB – 1GB per month would be reasonable.  I really don’t have a problem with data caps at all – I just know that they will charge a ridiculous price for data instead of a fair rate.

          • go get a degree and then maybe youll understand youre wrong

        • Tejasrichard

          I use over 2.5 gigs a month without tethering, just on my phone. I watch movies, I only browse the actual web (not “mobile” pages), what exactly is going to change if I am allowed to tether my tablet to my phone? Nothing. The argument is pure crap.

          • Hoytusa89

            Last month I used over 4 gigs just on my phone. Nothing special no tethering no big huge file downloads. And I know there are a lot more people out there just like me. Agreed just crap

        • guest

          You already are paying for the amount of data your phone gets still there is no difference to whether or not it is used on a phone or a computer. It’s still at the same speed and the same amount.

    • FortitudineVincimus

      I don’t look at it as “free” or any sort of scam on my end.

      I, personally, am paying for UNLIMITED data – this is how I use my UNLIMITED data. I am still using my phone after all.

      • All of your unlimited data is being used on your phone?  That is what you ARE paying for after all.

        • What happens if you download a file onto your phone, then transfer that to a computer? That data is no longer on your phone. Is that out of the realm of what you ARE paying for?

          • I don’t know about your use, but I download much more on my computer that I transfer to my phone compared to the other way around.  There isn’t much that I download on my phone that I transfer to my computer.

          • That did not answer my question. It is an uncommon use but it has been done. Specifically to transfer non-market apps from my phone to my tablet on a few occasions. Its not the easiest work flow but I did it. If you don’t believe me then take it as a hypothetical question.

          • My point was that the amount of data that is used in that scenario is very small and limited. You would not define data plans based on the rare circumstance, but rather the typical use.  I don’t believe that typical tethering use is comparable.  If you have a rare instance that you use your phone to download something that is used elsewhere, no I don’t feel that is in your unlimited data plan.  However, I don’t think the data used in these issues are significant enough to be concerned about.  Tethering to replace a broadband connection on your laptop or home computer is a completely different animal.

          • Tethering to replace broadband (for an extended time) is completely different. I do not agree with the people who do that. 

          • Anonymous

            I’m with you, Morgan.

            I paid for the data going down to my phone, and I paid for my phone….

            Why can’t I have my phone send that data to another device?? Verizon didn’t make the app I am using…

          • Anonymous

            Unfortunately, it’s practically impossible to tell the difference, and that’s the problem.  Casual, occasional tethering looks just the same to your carrier as full-blown broadband replacement does.

          • Anonymous

            until you look at the amount of data being consumed monthly

          • guest

            It would be the same as if you used only your phone that much. They wouldn’t know whether or not your data is used on your phone or your computer because the data still goes through your phone. Now days with phones being just as fast as laptops the amount of time you spend on a phone is greater than a computer. Just due to the amount is not a very effective indicator. There is people that use 10 GBs + a month on just their phone and barely 2 on their computer. 

          • guest

            Yes, really even tethering to begin with is pretty much impossible to tell the difference because it would use the same amount of data tethering as on your phone for the same amount of time due to your bandwidth. The only way they can tell you tether is by you using “verizon hotspot” ect. Why do they even care you pay for the amount of data you get and if you stay within that whatever you do with it, is your choice.

          • Anonymous

            ..and ur argument is why I dont believe tethering should even be an issue at all. Tethering in itself is already a rare instance.

            less than 1% are rooted to even be able to use tethering. and less than 1% of that 1% even use tethering “significantly”.. and we’re probably sticking to less than 500MBs. & The amt of users who are actually using it to replace their home internet service?.. that’s just laughable to even attempt to make that number significant.

            the tethering crowd should not be significant enough to be concerned about. Yet is it. I think this is more about Carriers enforcing the principle of control. 

          • guest

            True most people that tether do it outside of their homes. If someone wants to have it for their main form of internet then they should buy a hotspot device. 

        • Anonymous

           Read the complaint PDF. When Verizon got this LTE spectrum, they agreed that they would not “deny, limit, or restrict” users’ abilities to use the devices or applications of their choosing on the network. Now, I haven’t read into the most nitty gritty details of these conditions, but I’m assuming “applications” is loosely defined and may not necessarily refer to mobile applications (or “apps”), so I’m sure there is some room for interpretation. But interpreted as they are by FP (and myself), they indicate that even if this data is being transmitted to another device, it doesn’t matter. Wireless tether applications could be these “applications” referred to in these conditions imposed upon Verizon Wireless. Be that the case, any clauses in contracts regarding use of data on smartphones only in contracts (at least those with LTE data) would be overruled by an FCC ruling. For all effective purposes, they would be null and void.

          More interesting enough, the complaint discusses the exceptions listed in the conditions imposed upon Verizon Wireless. Along with the exceptions, the conditions state “The potential for excessive bandwidth demand alone shall not constitute grounds for denying, limiting or restricting access to the network.” Therefore, no matter what sort of extra load tethering could theoretically place upon the LTE network, it’s tough sh*t for Verizon in terms of these conditions.

          You’re point about paying for unlimited data on your phone won’t mean anything if it is determined that Verizon is violating these conditions.

          • Anonymous

            They are not limiting the way you use your devices, they are enforcing their contract terms

          • Anonymous

            and their contract terms defines (w limitations) how you use your devices. nO?

          • guest

            Therefore limiting you. Limiting you from downloading an app or using the phone that is technically the brand’s property not the carriers, even if it does say Verizon they pay to have it say that. If Verizon wants to bump of prices and give free tethering that they will loose customers. People will no longer want to pay for the reliability of the network they will switch to another one for cheaper that allows tethering at a cheaper or even a free price.

    • You will never get free tethering. If you get tethering w/ unlimited data, then you will pay more up front for data plan.  Those are going to be your only 2 alternatives 

      • Formulanerd

        funny, my tethering is free, right now, with unlimited data that i’m not paying more for up front.

      • The way I see it tethering is just getting myself a bigger screen and a full keyboard. Its not like by tethering I can get faster speeds, thereby tethering their network. Same data, just going to a bigger screen.

        • And on that bigger screen you will do things that you will not do on your phone. Do you not think that was taken into account when they created the data plan for phones?

          • So should phones with a 4.3 inch phone (whatever the biggest is now) be charged more for data then the smallest(?) screen of the Droid Pro? How about we add a “convenience charge” while we’re at it?

          • You are really going to compare the difference between 3.7″ to 4.5″ with the difference between 4.5″ and 12″, 15″, 17″ ? Seriously?

          • You brought up that there is a difference between screen sizes possibly effects what you do. Would you be as inclined to watch netflix or do heavy browsing on a 3.7″ as you would be on a 4.5″?

          • Justin Fincher

            Also, what about tablets?  Is the jump from 4.5 inches to 7 enough to warrant an increase in cost?  What about to 8?  10?  Data is data.  If they didn’t want people using unlimited data, they shouldn’t have offered it.  We shouldn’t have to be punished because Verizon didn’t think ahead about how what they offered could be used.

          • Anonymous

            Well they did think ahead and added hotspot feature for using larger devices at a higher price point

          • Tito

            How is someone being punished???? By tethering without paying for the service you are violating the contract. It clearly says for EVERYONE that you must use data on your mobile phone only unless yo have a broadband connect plan or device. Verizon is offering unlimited data on your mobile phone only. Read your agreement.

          • Alyssa

            It sounds like the free press is alleging that the contract itself is perhaps invalid.  

             “When Verizon purchased the spectrum licenses associated with its LTE network, it agreed that it would not “deny, limit, or restrict” the ability of its users to access the applications and devices of their choosing.”

            “Mobile broadband providers, including Verizon, offer their own expensive tetheringservices that compete with the free and low-cost options offered in the Android Market.”

            If the courts agree with them on these two arguments then the author of the article may have a point. Verizon’s failure to anticipate an app that would allow people to tether and their subsequent removal or limiting access to these apps essentially breaks the contract they signed to get into the Android market. In otherwords, perhaps their customers found a legitimate loophole in the contract. I have no opinion whether this is right, wrong, fair or unfair or not. Data usage aside…

          • In other words, “60% of the time, it works EVERYTIME”

          • The use of the word “clearly” generally means the terms were not so clear.  As an attorney I clearly vouch for that.

          • Guest

            And from there what is their choice in what you do with it from your phone. It’s not like it is coming from the company, your already paying for that data whether or not you even use it! To pay extra is overcharging. Like an earlier point. Home internet providers cannot charge you for using a wireless router even though it’s the exact same type of issue. Data being sent that is split for multiple devices that split the original speed. You shouldn’t even be paying amount wise but you should be paying for the speed. They get so much extra money they can’t even handle it. Why do you think the FCC is even in place. To protect people from having to pay a fortune. 

          • Tethering is a hardware configuration of the phone its not some type of software AT&T uses that magically allows you to tether.  The device is your property and what you do with it is your business.  Paying for tethering is a way for the companies to double charge for the same data.  The tethering option built in to each phones OS is for idiots who dont know anything about networking.  Its an option and if I can find another way to tether my data it is not of the companies concern.   Now what they are doing is cross checking those phones who have traffic flowing through their “tethering APN” and cross checking them with those who have and have not paid for tethering.   They then automatically enroll  you in the higher cost plan WHICH IS EXTORTION.   

          • It’s interesting that their unlimited data plan was based on no one really wanting to use it on an annoyingly small form factor on a device with a quickly dying battery.  But lo and behold, people wanted to use it.  I’ve always questioned phone reviews/complaints of the 3″ vs 4.5″ phone.  Maybe it’s because I’m in my forties and don’t see so good, but who the hell wants to watch a movie on a 4 (or even 10″) screen.   I’m honestly not at the airport or on a subway/bus that much.

          • Wolfpackmars2

            Careful what you wish for : http://j.mp/jxZNJC

          • As a side note, the “convenience charge” mockery was out of line. I apologize.

          • I was not offended in any way 🙂

          • Jordanharrell8

            so users who buy the atrix should have to pay more to use the laptop dock? your argument seems invalid to me.  the way i seee it, tethering your phone to a computer is comparable to using a straw when  having a drink. should you have to pay more to drink from a straw, rather than straight from the cup? i agree there should be some kind of limit, but i honestly use more data on my phone than i do on a computer.

          • TheAndroid1

            Users who buy the Atrix do have to pay more, they HAVE to buy a tethering plan.

          • Anonymous

            really?!?! wow.. that’s just extreme ROFL. 

          • Actually, the dock is running android from the phone so the mobile OS vs desktop OS argument does not apply.

          • Anonymous

            by that argument, anyone using the Atrix w the atrix dock should pay more, nO?

          • Tito

            They DO pay more. Its called tethering.

          • beachguy757

            You are the dumbest person here by far.  A video files size does not change.  The smart device or laptop then corrects the file to fit the view size and proportions of the device.  If you have a video playing on your laptop pause and plug it into your 55″ tv and then continue to play it, it does not somehow expand the amount of data.  shut your mouth and learn some things before try to debate on a technical aspect of smart phones.

          • BortFrenzy

            It isn’t the size of the screen, it is the OS you are using. A Mobile OS is programmed to be lite on data compared to a computer running Windows or OSX. With a DesktopLaptop OS, you will have much more data being handled in the background.

          • Hoosiercub

            Bullshit… I use gigabytes a month on a regular basis 3-6 without tethering… my phone uses data just like my laptop running windows. Streaming video is streaming video.

          • BortFrenzy

            Streaming video is streaming video, yes. But if you know anything about operating systems, you would know that in operating system such as Windows or OSX, there is so much more going on. Read my post again, and you’ll notice I said ‘in the background’. Android handles data much differently then any non-mobile OS. Yes, you can use gigabytes easily on your phone. I use about 2-3 on mine every month. On my PC, I am easily in that range from programs and my OS auto updating themselves. So how is it bullshit to say that Android handles data differently than Windows or OSX?

          • Tito

             Seriously people???? Some of you are arguing that the data usage on a phone is the same as on a pc?????? How many huge games for example will you be downloading on your phone? How often will hundreds of megabytes of updates be downloaded to your phone? What about the people who enable the hotspot for their entire home or for multiple people to use?

          • Anonymous

            why are you arguing against it?  Both arguments are entirely pointless.  One guy says he uses 2-3 GB on his phone a month – I use about 1 GB a month.  I’m sure you people are downloading GB after GB of data on your home internet connections to watch movies and play games – I don’t.  My home internet connection sucks and I use it a handful of times a month – I honestly use about the same amount if not less data on my home connection.

            The point is not what device is using the data but what your personal habits are.  I have a big HDTV and bluray player so I’m probably never going to watch movies on a mobile or tethered device.  Likewise I’m not going to play a bunch of data intensive games on my PC (it’s about 8 years old bottom line model) and I don’t have xbox360 or ps3.  My point is that I use very little data at all.  Quite frankly, I just want to pay a fair price per MB of data used – the only problem is that they will want to charge $0.25 a MB just like they do with text messages off plan.

            They refuse to offer a “fair” solution and they wonder why people seem to have nothing but distaste for them.

          • Natefunk

            What everyone one is missing here is that you are actually paying for bandwidth. Restricting the amount of gigabytes is just a way to bleed you of money. To clarify that means you are paying for the download speed and and the amount of devices that get that download speed.

            There is only so much bandwidth your device to get and you can’t take more just by tethering it. If you have your device tethered you will use the same bandwidth as untethered.If you add a second device the bandwidth gets cut in two and shared among devices. The only way this argument is void is if someone is an extreme torrent user. And torrent programs do have a way of hogging more bandwidth because of the number of individual connections that you get. These phone can also be torrent hogs on their own though because of android torrent apps.Lets also consider that tethering is no different than putting a router on your home internet connection and connecting several devices. Your sharing that internet with your other devices but still not getting more bandwidth. If cable companies couldn’t get away with charging for putting a splitter on your line for two tvs in the house in the early days of cable; then why should wireless companies get a way with charging you for doing the same thing. All your doing is using your phone as a splitter for wireless signal.

          • Anonymous

            why are you arguing against it?  Both arguments are entirely pointless.  One guy says he uses 2-3 GB on his phone a month – I use about 1 GB a month.  I’m sure you people are downloading GB after GB of data on your home internet connections to watch movies and play games – I don’t.  My home internet connection sucks and I use it a handful of times a month – I honestly use about the same amount if not less data on my home connection.

            The point is not what device is using the data but what your personal habits are.  I have a big HDTV and bluray player so I’m probably never going to watch movies on a mobile or tethered device.  Likewise I’m not going to play a bunch of data intensive games on my PC (it’s about 8 years old bottom line model) and I don’t have xbox360 or ps3.  My point is that I use very little data at all.  Quite frankly, I just want to pay a fair price per MB of data used – the only problem is that they will want to charge $0.25 a MB just like they do with text messages off plan.

            They refuse to offer a “fair” solution and they wonder why people seem to have nothing but distaste for them.

          • Fred

             If data usage was the issue they would simply allow you X amount of data on your plan for a given price. How you use it should not not be relevent. But what they are doing is making you pay double the money even if you use less than 2GB of data. They have no plans that simply charge on a per GB basis.

          • mommylovesix

            I am curious…I understand that more stuff is going on with a computer than with a phone…but if I buy a 5GB plan how is it different if I use those 5Gs on my phone or on my computer…why should I have to pay more $ to use my phone internet to use my laptop…or better yet why should I be forced to buy internet for a phone if I have a mifi which I could use with my phone if it is wifi capable…why should I have to pay for internet for both…I am just wondering??

          • Art

            I agree I use about the same a month if not more

          • CyberPete

            Actually, streaming video is NOT streaming video… When you stream to a 50″ display in HD, your data usage is far greater than when you stream video to your phone.

          • Guy

            False. Whatever resolution they are throwing is what you get… period. Netflix, for example, decides what bitstream you get based on your data transfer rate, not your screen.

          • guest

            Not when you stream the same video no, a video or movie is a specific amount of data that is not determined by screen size. 

          • prsplayer210

            i disagreee the fact being that you pay for2 or 5gb of data. so whether its being used by your phone or your tetherd to some other device that shouldnt matter. If you have more background data which may or may not be true depending on conditions. all that backgrouund things can easily be disabled in windows 7 at least your just using your data faster and it shouldnt matter how the device uses data its data you paid for it its yours. but there are ways around this bs so it doesnt matter

          • Size of the screen doesn’t and won’t ever matter, period! When you sign your contract, its for use on the data, on the phone, not everything else that you can use. If it was free use, then the data speeds would be effected like crazy! People pay a premium for VZW service because they don’t want dropped calls and want a good signal strength anywhere. The same goes for data, if it were free, or even stolen in this case, it would greatly effect the data speeds. Almost like what the iPhone did to At&t when it was first introduced. They offer it as a service to get paid for, that money, if people like it or not, goes to help building the LTE network. 

          • Wyveryx

            Define stolen… Also, pin point exactly in the contract where it states that my data going into and out of my phone doesn’t allow for other devices…

            I am using my data plan tied to my phone, all the data being used is going through my phone, therefore I am using it for my phone. Data is data, bytes are a single digit, always will be no matter what device is using it.

            Also, using the AT&T example, then Big Red is just as much to blame for not foreseeing this as a possible hindrance to the network, unless they were already gunning for LTE, which in case this is all about VZW seeking extra money for nothing.

          • Tito

            http://b2b.vzw.com/broadband/bba_terms.html

            “Customers who do not have dedicated Mobile Broadband devices cannot
            tether other devices to laptops or personal computers for use as
            wireless modems unless they subscribe to Mobile Broadband Connect”

            Did you really think this wasn’t in your terms of service?????

          • CyberPete

            you didn’t read your contract…

          • TheAndroid1

            The problem came in when Verizon bought the LTE spectrum.  It required that users must be able to use it how they choose and Verizon is not able to “limit” the use.  Just because there is an illegal clause in a contract does not make it legal.
            You can already use VIOP, alternative texting services, other services that replace what verizon charges for.

          • guest

            Yeah and look now how apple is going around messaging charges with there new app. Apparently they believe the companies charge to much as well. Otherwise people wouldn’t have these messengers that sneak through the companies charges.

          • Youre an idiot.  When you tether you turn your phone into a router.   Does your ISP charge you more to have multiple computers on your home network?   IT IS NOT A SERVICE, IT IS A HARDWARE CONFIGURATION BUILT IN TO THE PHONE.   HOW IS THE DATA STOLEN WHEN YOU PAID FOR IT? IT DOES NOTHING TO AFFECT DATA SPEEDS.  I HAVE A COMPUTER NETWORKING DEGREE I THINK YOU SHOULD GO TO SCHOOL BEFORE YOUR VOICE YOUR USELESS OPINION.

          • cphilano

            Your argument has a huge hole in it. No one is arguing that the data be free. This topic is covering the double charge for data that Verizon has instituted with no recourse. Tethering does not offer free data or in no way has ever offered free data. Tethering distributes already paid for data to your other devices. The operative words are “already paid for.”

            If your argument rang true then why hasn’t Verizon been able to institute tethering charges to voice minutes for base stations in peoples’ homes that allow them to use their minutes on other devices? Why are we treating data different here?

            If I fill up my car at the gas station, I can’t transfer that gas to another car at home?

            I have one power line that runs to my house. Are power companies now rightfully able to charge me for the lines running to each room?

            DirecTV charges for each room, but that is for delivering the same quality signal to different boxes. They can’t charge you for splitting the signal you paid for among several TVs.

          • they call that the “administrative fee”

          • Uh60a

            It is not just a bigger screen, when you tether to a laptop you can for instance play wow for 12 hours a day for a hole month and go way way over your usage of 5g’s. 

          • cphilano

            And you get charged overage fees for that. Believe me.

          • Craigg

            I’m not sure this holds true any longer. With the ability to plug an hdmi cable into many phones to stream video and with phones that can plug into a webtop appliance like the Atrix does I see little difference between the two.

          • I agree things are changing w/ hdmi output. Granted no full size keyboard interface will affect use somewhat. The hdmi will definitely allow more video streaming.  With att and atrix, they have tiered plans so they don’t care how you use the data.  It will be interesting to see what vzw does w/ the bionic if it comes w/ similar webtop. 

          • Stan

            Whats the difference between same amount of data used on your phone or the data used on your laptop tethered to your phone. If it all goes the same speed then there is really no reason to charge a monthly fee for the same amount of data transfer. Maybe I’m missing something.

          • Stan

            Whats the difference between same amount of data used on your phone or the data used on your laptop tethered to your phone. If it all goes the same speed then there is really no reason to charge a monthly fee for the same amount of data transfer. Maybe I’m missing something.

          • I think the issue here is Verizon restricting their customers to certain abilities.  Verizon has the right to void your contract if you’re tethering, but outright denying their customers the ability to even make that choice doesn’t seem to align with the whole principle of free choice.  It’s almost like comcast denying you access to piratebay – you would not want them to cut you access from it.

          • Jaguarxt

            Different devices uses different amount of data. Like Microsoft Windows in a laptop that you are tethering to is doing updates in the background without you knowing it. That laptop’s updates can be very, very, very large data (as we know all to well the large updates of MS Win OSes). That is just the beginning of the large bandwidth that a different device can use up.
            So it is not about the screen size but it is about the devices, their OSes and their usages.

            And yes, if this ruling goes on the favor of tethering, then we will see data plans be higher price at lower monthly usage caps. I personally don’t want caps on my usage of my PPC (Pocket Personal Computer) or my tablet. For my laptop I can accept a different data plan for it (knowing how much data bandwidth the laptop uses).

            What makes me angry is that rooting gets a bad rap because of tethering. And yet there are tethering apps like, Easy Tethering, PdaNet (without detection), etc. that allows tethering without rooting. Another case of hacking getting a bad rap.

          • DroidzFX

            I wish people would learn the difference between what bandwidth is and how much data you use. When tether you are not getting any more bandwidth on a computer than what you get on a phone. You may consume more data over a given period but you are not getting that data any faster on your computer than you would get on your phone. 

          • Jaguarxt

            My bag on using the wrong word, “bandwidth”. I meant data usage. I know what I meant and I know the difference.

            I meant that a device, like a MS Win OS laptop can and will, by its own nature, use much, much, much more data than your average PPC, like a Android device. So it is not about the screen size but it is about the devices, their OSes and their data usages.

            The real issue is that carriers like Verizon, ATT, etc. currently can’t handle the very large data usage from devices like laptops that users are tethering thru their Android devices on the carriers’ networks. Their back end can’t support that much data usage from so many users tethering their laptops thru Android devices. This is especially true when there is many users tethering their laptops at the same time. And the other issue is that carriers make money from the extra monthly tethering service charge. These are the two reasons for the data throttling, data plan caps, trying to prevent “side loading” (which ATT now just begin to allow), prevent rooting (carriers think that is the way people can run tethering apps and “side load” tethering apps into the devices) by having the manufactures lock the bootloaders, and prevent users from getting tethering apps. Basically the carriers did everything under the sun to stop “free” (thou you paid once for the usage) tethering. But this step went one step too far by not allowing the users the freedom of choice to do what they choose to do. Yes, they can choose not to serve you. That is their choice. But they have to allow us the same freedom of choice.

            The problem with this ruling is that no matter which way the ruling goes it means bad things for the customers in the future. Either no tethering at all for the future or plans with higher prices and much lower data usage caps. For me I would do away with tethering just to have unlimited data usage on my Android PPC devices. My Microsoft Windows laptop can have its own data service charge to keep the unlimited data usage with my Androids. But that is my opinion.

            But one thing is for sure. Data usage with Androids are one of the highest in the PPC “Smartphone” world. And the data usage for Android is only to get larger. That means the carriers are going to learn to deal with data usage or loose lots of “Smartphone” customers, because of the cost being too high.

            Again: What makes me angry is that rooting gets a bad rap because of tethering.
            And yet there are tethering apps like, Easy Tethering, PdaNet (without
            detection), etc. that allows tethering without rooting your Android. Another case of
            hacking getting a bad rap.

          • Anonymous

            What makes me angry is the entire concept of cellular “plans”.  It’s a utility.  Do I pay for an electricity “plan” – no, I play for the amount I use and no more.  Same for water or gas – I am not forced to estimate how much water I’m going to use monthly for the next two years.  Even if we are forced to choose a plan, we should receive prorated discounts on the next month’s bill.  Forget roll-over minutes, just charge a fair price (pick an acceptable usage or even a median/average usage and figure out the price per MB of data) and be done wiht it.

          • guest

            True but if bandwidth is how fast you can receive and send data then it would take your computer different times depending on your bandwidth, the speed your phone gets is the speed your computer gets. Data for the same amount of time on your phone vs a laptop is the same because of the bandwidth. The use of data relies on the bandwidth. If you have fast bandwidth then your computer AND phone will use the same amount of data doing the same things for the same time. If you were streaming a move on your phone or on you computer, the data is exactly the same so whether you do it on a computer or your phone it’s the same amount of data usage from the network. Verizon, At&t, Sprint etc all limit the phones which is not what the companies that produced the phones intended for, if android wanted to put tethering apps on the market it’s their choice, and same with the people who pay for the product marketed android and if the carrier does not like it then they don’t need to pay android to put phones on their company. They need learn to keep prices at a fair price and not nickle and dime us. 30 dollars for tethering is BS… T-Mobile with it’s 15 is comfortable. Although when they purchased LTE spectrum they did agree to not restricting users and so they are already restricting users therefore breaking the law. There here to serve “the customer” not for us to serve them. Otherwise they would not be here still. 

          • thats not really entirely true… I run the same things on my Xoom, that I tether to my droid phone… I just am able to use it more easily.

        • I already have unlimited data, grandfathered into my Verizon account….can they do anything if I use a 3rd party tethering device?

    • Rizzidy

      Petitions are pointless.  File your own complaint if you actually care about this issue.

    • Robersondonnie

      Please inform me also. Need this for job and already pay Verizon dearly and have since 05. Think they would appreciate. D

  • Anonymous

    Hopefully this stops them from this bullshit! Just because they say in a contract something isn’t allowed doesn’t make it right.

    Its like selling you a meal at a restaurant, but you aren’t allowed to take the food home with you… You bought the food, shouldn’t you be able to use it how you like??

    • So how much data did you buy?  A free pipeline of unlimited bandwidth to the internet?  You bought a free pipline for your phone, not some other device.  If they offered a set amount of data, you would have a point.

      • Dang straight I bought a pipeline to my phone. And the data still goes through my phone.

        Relatively speaking, I use tethering for less than 3% of my data usage per month, yet Big Red wants to charge an additional 67% on top of the $30 I already pay for that 3% data usage.

        The Free Press is right on track.

        • I think that if everyone that tethered used in the same way (less than 5% of data use), I don’t think verizon would care.  Obviously there are significant exceptions, and they are forcing the issue which is hurting users like you.  However, I believe forcing the issue on verizon is only going to raise prices on all of us.

          • Anonymous

            If everyone used 4% of tethering data every month, Verizon’s frustration would compound by the thousandfolds. Truth of the matter is, hardly anyone tethers. 

            Just crunch the (logically guessed) numbers.
            -Less that 1% are rooted. (Mftrs & Carriers call us insignificant, except when they want to lock things up)
              -of that rooted community, perhaps 95% have some some sort of Tethering App
               (b/c let’s face it, There are many out there that are rooted w a friend’s help)
                -of those who have the tethering app, probably 90% have ever used it
                   -of those that use it, probably only 10% of them even turn it on every month.
                      -of that 10%, Less than 50% probably even used for more than 3hrs/mo, probably less than 200 MBs

            for those who really dont understand what’s going on here. This is a very small portion of a portion of a portion of a portion of a portion of a very small portion to even begin with.

            If vzw loses this battle, they will definitely try to raise prices, why wouldnt they? Both AT&T & VZW uses every opportunity to justify a price increase anywhere they can and conveniently leans the fault on whoever’s irritating them, & this would just be a perfectly justified opportunity to charge EVERYONE a price increase for the 0.0004% of users that are “weighing down the network”. and really.. 200 MBs is really nothing, especially when I save verizon more than that bandwidth on a monthly basis switching my phone off their 3G network to use whatever public wifi is available.

            Personally, I use my tethering about once every 3 months, and less than 100 MBs each time. The only time i ever truly used it was when it took 3wks to install cable broadband in my house & I ended up using abt 500 MBs of data in that time. I use tethering the most out of eeveryone i know.

            Tethering is NOT a problem. Perhaps they’re afraid that it might eventually be a problem, but I highly doubt it, especially w available Free Hotspots popping up more frequently. Maybe we should all get a discount on our data plan for every MB of data we save for verizon everytime we use our own home or public wifi. Hows that for a fair trade. Funny enough, I feel like it’ll be the Tethering “abusers” that will end up w the bigger Data Cashbacks.

  • Weird. I can tether from my Thunderbolt without issue using the built-in CM7 Wi-Fi hotspot app (settings > wireless & networks > Tethering & portable hotspot)

    I did not know Verizon was blocking this. They aren’t blocking me…

    • FortitudineVincimus

      but isn’t this because they are allowing you to do it through their phones using their apps and they have been clear this is for a limited time. So, you get use to using it, get sucked in, they will then in the future make it a pay model.

      More talked about here are 3rd party apps we load up and use for phones that do not have that built in function.

  • Well done, Free Press.  Frankly, I’d be surprised if Google, et. al doesn’t get involved in scolding providers for something like this (the more data that’s used, the happier they are).  Data use is data use, and the form it comes in shouldn’t be of any consequence to providers.  This issue was bound to come to a head eventually.

  • Anonymous

    Free Press could win this on the LTE side, but they don’t have any power to change things for the EVDO side of things. Verizon signed the agreement with the FCC to not limit usage on the network. Google got those provisions in the deal for a reason. 

  • Anonymous

    Free Press could win this on the LTE side, but they don’t have any power to change things for the EVDO side of things. Verizon signed the agreement with the FCC to not limit usage on the network. Google got those provisions in the deal for a reason. 

    • Anonymous

      Yeah the LTE side of things is really where we can hold out hope.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you, Free Press. I have always been totally disgusted with the practice of charging a premium ON TOP OF AN UNLIMITED DATA PLAN to tether. I’m going to their website right now, seeing whatever I can do to help, donating money, signing anything they want me to, anything it takes/I can goddamned think of to not only help stop this practice, hopefully with every OTHER carrier, and punish them retroactively for the bullshit they have foisted upon their own data customers for the last several years.

    VIVA LA REVOLUCION, YOU FUCKTARDS.

  • Guest

    This complaint will get nowhere.  If you Verizon customers carefully read the contracts you sign it clearly states what is and what isn’t allowed.

    Free Press has no legal ground to stand on.

    • Mike

      Just because it says something on a contract doesn’t necessarily mean anything.  Especially since VZW agreed NOT to limit choice in the LTE Spectrum.

      • EC8CH

        Maybe VZ should read their contract with the FCC more carefully?

      • Custom Colonel

        stop with the LTE spectrum crap…geez you fanboys are such idiots its painful.  verizon is not limiting choice in the spectrum, moron.  If you sign up for tethering you can do what you want.  The spectrum agreement doesn’t say “customers can use unauthorized devices on the LTE spectrum, and bypass paying for it”…how stupid are you idiots??

    • SpcHicks09

      Doesn’t matter, unlimited data means unlimited data. You can’t legally say “unlimited data” then restrict it.

      • Actually, from a legal standpoint, “unlimited” can mean whatever Verizon states it means in a contract. Unlimited doesn’t always mean unlimited, legally. =/

      • They define the data as data being used on your phone.  You DO get an unlimited amount of that.  Data that is being used on another device is not part of your unlimited contract.

        • Ah. So, instead of changing the traditional meaning of unlimited, they made the scope very narrow in terms of what “data” is exactly. In that sense, they may be very well protected (legally), but then again, maybe not. Is there a corporate lawyer in the house? =P

        • John

          This.  The contract states you get unlimited data usage for your phone, and forbids the usage on other devices not under contract. 

          • Frosted Butts

             I have to be a bit cheeky here.  The contract says unlimited data to the phone, correct? In reality, when tethering, it is still your phone acting as the end medium.  It just happens that your phone is making said data available to other additional devices, through separate means (non 3G).

      • Bullet Tooth Tony

        If you think that, I’d wager you also believe that a lifetime warranty means as long as you live and own the product… which is also incorrect.

      • Bullet Tooth Tony

        If you think that, I’d wager you also believe that a lifetime warranty means as long as you live and own the product… which is also incorrect.

    • Anonymous

      I wouldn’t put so much faith into contracts.

    • Free Press is asking that the FCC examine the contracts that authorize VZW to use the airspace.

      Your phone is subject to the rules set forth by the carrier.
      Your carrier’s bandwidth is subject to the rules set forth by the FCC.

      If we don’t play by VZW’s rules, they can suspend service.
      If VZW doesn’t play by the FCC’s rules, they can apply various punishments.

      VZW doesn’t rule the air.  They lease the air and they sublet it to us.  The FCC rules the air.

      • EC8CH

        *clap clap clap clap*

        good show old boy

    • Anonymous

      I can’t help but think that if unauthorized tethering continues, carriers will start capping data.  Everyone loses there.

    • Anonymous

      contract contract contract is all you guys kno how to spew. Anything can be in contract especially when there isn’t a specific law forbidding it. And anything that’s legally in contract doesn’t absolutely mean it will always be permissible. 

      corporate policies & contracts can, and are, challenged in court for being unreasonable and abusive. Likewise, consumer actions that arent yet illegal can be challenged and then redefined as illegal. 

      The whole point of it is a large group believe tethering for an existing data plan should be permissible and they are challenging Carrier’s current ability to restrict this ability in court. Personally I believe a required data plan should be illegal period. If I choose to purchase a smartphone for Wifi hotSpot use only rather than being dependant on mandatory Carrier Data packages, I should have that right of option. Before the age of required data plans, my intentions were always to purchase a smartphone that could depend on Wifi only. Though now, after riding the convenience of a data plan for so long, I probably wont be happy w/o a data plan. Regardless tho, I still believe Wifi only should be a very clear option no matter what device you choose.

    • Rizzidy

      F
      A
      L
      S
      E

  • Guest

    PDAnet works fine for me.  Charges my phone too.