The FCC has come down on Verizon with a $1.25 million fine for blocking the use of third-party tethering apps, and informed the carrier that it has to allow them — but unfortunately, the same doesn’t hold true for AT&T.
As reported by GigaOm, Verizon has been blocking the use of tethering apps, instead forcing users to pay $20 for a mobile hot spot fee. The FCC ruled against Verizon in this matter because it uses the 700 MHz spectrum, which Verizon picked up under the mandate that other devices and applications are allowed to run on that chunk of bandwidth.
Unfortunately, since AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint don’t use the 700MHz band, this ruling doesn’t apply to them.
The FCC also decided that Verizon is not allowed to charge a $20 tethering fee to tiered users, but is allowed to for those on unlimited data plans.
It’ll be interesting to see how this is used/enforced. The Verizon iPhone doesn’t specifically use the 700MHz ban, but the way the ruling is worded, it appears to apply to all Verizon devices. Also, will that mean that Apple will allow tethering apps in the App Store — or will it be jailbreak only?