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Free Press asks FCC to block Verizon's tethering crackdown

updated 12:45 pm EDT, Mon June 6, 2011

Enforcement said to violate spectrum agreement

Media reform organization Free Press is set to file a complaint with the FCC against Verizon, accusing the cellular carrier of violating spectrum agreements by restricting access to third-party tethering applications. The group's argument specifically focuses on license terms for the 700 MHz spectrum block, which Verizon utilizes for its 4G LTE network.

"Licensees of the C Block of the upper 700 MHz block, over which Verizon runs its LTE network, may not 'deny, limit, or restrict' the ability of their customers to use the applications or devices of the customers' choosing," Free Press media coordinator Jenn Ettinger said in a statement.

The complaint follows reports suggesting that Verizon has asked Google to prevent its subscribers from accessing third-party tethering applications in the Android Market. The apps, such as Wireless Tether, allow users to circumvent Verizon's own tethering option, which costs $20/month for 2GB of data.

"Users pay through the nose for Verizon's LTE service, and having done so, they should be able to use their connections as they see fit," argues Free Press policy counsel Aparna Sridhar. "Instead, Verizon's approach is to sell you broadband but then put up roadblocks to control your use of it."

Free Press is asking the FCC to investigate the accusations and penalize Verizon if the company is found to be in violation of the spectrum license terms. [via GigaOM]

by MacNN Staff



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