Verizon Wireless, a popular American wireless telecom, was recently told by the FCC that they cannot block tethering apps on any device on their network. Users have been using these apps to get around Verizon’s obnoxious $20 per month tethering add on fee. If you’re unaware, tethering is the act of using a mobile device such as a smartphone to provide an internet connection to another device such as a laptop or tablet.
The FCC came to the conclusion that Verizon is in the wrong because when Verizon purchased the 700MHz wireless spectrum they were told by the FCC that they had to keep this spectrum open and not filter network usage. Verizon settled with the FCC by writing them a $1.25 million dollar check and promising to only charge for tethering on unlimited data plans, not tiered plans. However, according to Gigaom, Verizon has no way of knowing if a user is using a free tethering app, so theoretically anyone can download a free tethering app to their Android device and use it to his or her heart’s content.
Unfortunately for Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile customers, this ruling does not apply to them as Verizon was breaking a deal with the FCC that was made when Verizon purchased the 700MHz wireless spectrum. However, if you’re a Verizon customer, enjoy your free tethering by using apps like PDAnet to connect your Android device to your laptops, tablets and other devices to provide on-the-go internet access.