Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Verizon settles tethering case with the FCC for 1.25 million dollars

"Today the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau released a $1.25 million consent decree with Verizon Wireless that resolves an investigation into whether the company had fully complied with the FCC’s “C Block rules,” requiring licensees of C Block spectrum to allow customers to freely use the devices and applications of their choosing.


...


Verizon Wireless offers customers its 4G LTE service on C Block spectrum. Verizon Wireless bid at auction to acquire that spectrum, understanding that it was accompanied by open device and application obligations. Specifically, licensees offering service on C Block spectrum “shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee’s C Block network,” subject to narrow exceptions.


The Bureau launched an investigation after reports suggested that Verizon Wireless had successfully requested that a major application store operator block Verizon’s customers from accessing tethering applications from its online market. (“Tethering” is using a wireless phone as a modem to obtain Internet access for another device, such as a laptop computer or tablet.)
 

The Commission also received an informal complaint alleging that Verizon Wireless had violated the FCC’s C Block rules by making such a request. At that time, Verizon Wireless’s terms of service required all customers who wanted to use their phones for tethering to subscribe to the company’s Mobile Broadband Connect service, at an additional charge. In response, Verizon Wireless stated that the additional fee reflected the fact that customers who tether laptops or other devices have the capability to use more data capacity than others. At the time of that response, however, Verizon Wireless required not only unlimited data plan customers, but also customers who paid for data on a usage basis, to pay the additional fee. Verizon Wireless asserted that third-party tethering applications could enable its customers to tether without paying an additional fee." (see the FCC's press release, Commissioner Clyburn's statement and the respective order).

Cypriot NRA consults on incumbents's pricing of provision of access to customers' premises

OCECPR consults on incumbents's pricing of provision of access to customers' premises (see draft decision, in greek).

Maltese NRA consults on review of leased lines markets

MCA consults on review of leased lines markets (see related page).