Let my Wi-Fi go: FCC rules Verizon can't charge for Wi-Fi tetheringSubmitted by PWA on Wed, 08/01/2012 - 09:52
Summary: In what may prove a landmark ruling, the FCC has stated that Verizon can no longer charge users for using their 4G devices as Wi-Fi hotspots.
In a US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling, Verizon was ordered to stop charging users an additional fee for using their 4G smartphones and tablets as Wi-Fi hotspots, aka tethering.
P. Michele Ellison, FCC, Enforcement Bureau Chief, said in a statement, “This case was the first of its kind in enforcing the pro-consumer open access obligations of the C Block [the spectrum band reserved for 4G] rules. It underscores the agency’s commitment to guarantee consumers the benefits of an open wireless broadband platform by providing greater consumer choice and fostering innovation."
As FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in the same document, "Today’s action demonstrates that compliance with FCC obligations is not optional. The open device and application obligations were core conditions when Verizon purchased the C-block spectrum. The massive innovation and investment fueled by the Internet have been driven by consumer choice in both devices and applications. The steps taken today will not only protect consumer choice, but defend certainty for innovators to continue to deliver new services and apps without fear of being blocked."