The FCC(Federal Communications Commission) has just released a statement saying that Verizon will pay $1.25 million as a settlement after they revealed that Verizon had been unlawfully blocking tethering apps. If you’re unfamiliar with tethering apps, they allow a user to create a wireless network using their smartphone and its connection to their cellular network. Some apps are free ,while others may carry a price, but most carriers have been attempting to get rid of these apps so that customers will pay a premium for the carrier’s own tethering plan.
Verizon asked Google to remove 11 tethering applications from the Google Play store, which it did. The FCC conducted a 10 month investigation and discovered Verizon’s actions and came to a conclusion. This action violated Verizon’s initial promise to the FCC back in 2008 that they would allow any software to be used on their network when they bought some public airwaves back at an auction for $9.68 billion. This agreement was part of the net-neutrality conditions that Verizon agreed to back then.
Because the FCC only regulates Internet Service Providers, it didn’t investigate Google. Verizon has refuted the FCC’s claims saying that it didn’t intend to block applications, but has decided to settle to move on from the case. The FCC and DOJ are both going over a $3.9B bid from Verizon to acquire airwaves from major cable companies. This decision will definitely benefit the consumer and I believe the FCC made the correct choice here. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.