Coming down forcefully on Verizon Wireless' practice of stone-walling third-party Android and iOS apps which enable users to "tether" without requiring additional service subscription, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said that Verizon has not been adhering to the Net Neutrality rules on its 700 MHz spectrum.
With the spectrum which operates Verizon's high-speed 4G LTE network coming under the FCC scanner, the wireless provider will have to overturn its current policy of blocking wireless tethering without any additional charge to its smart devices.
Revealing that Verizon will no longer be allowed to block "tethering" apps which give users the advantage of using their 4G LTE handsets as Wi-Fi hotspots, the FCC said that a $1.25 million fine has been slapped on the carrier for its contentious business practices which the agency has been investigating for the past 10 months.
The FCC said that its investigation had revealed that it was illegal on the part of Verizon to request Google to remove "free tethering" apps from its Google Play store, even though the carrier already charges a $20-per-month "tethering fee" for otherwise free internet access - accompanying the carrier's standard data fees - for non-Verizon devices.
According to the FCC, Verizon's blocking of the free tethering apps breached the open access conditions of 700 MHz spectrum, the `C Block' of which clearly states that licensees offering service on the 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."