Free Press Files Complaint Against Verizon

June 7, 2011 -

Earlier this week advocacy group Free Press formally complained to the Federal Communications Commission concerning Verizon's ban of 4G tethering apps, claiming that the action violates the openness rules set forth in the agency's net neutrality guidelines and terms the company agreed to when it bought the spectrum in 2008.

In its complaint, Free Press claims that the wireless carrier asked Google to remove tethering apps from the Android Market. The motivation for doing this, according to Free Press, is because Verizon wants to charge a monthly fee of $20 for subscribers to use their phone as an ad hoc modem. Free Press says that these requests to Google violate the openness rules that the FCC attached to the C Block spectrum that Verizon bought at auction in 2008. Those rules require that Verizon allow users to use devices, services and apps without interference from the carrier.

Google, who used to be a strong advocate of net neutrality, has changed its tune since it introduced proposals last year alongside Verizon. Now the company is largely silent on the issue and has complied with Verizon's takedown requests related to tethering apps.

The Free Press complaint is a first attempt to test the openness rules the FCC put on the mobile phone spectrum in 2008.

"In Verizon’s case, limiting access to tethering applications is not just a bad business practice and a bad policy choice; it also deliberately flouts the openness conditions imposed on Verizon’s LTE spectrum," the Free Press complaint reads. "When Verizon purchased the spectrum licenses associated with its LTE network, it agreed that it would not ‘deny, limit, or restrict’ the ability of its users to access the applications and devices of their choosing."

Verizon spokeswoman Debi Lewis said in a statement to Wired that that it does not control the Android Market, and does not feel that it is violating the openness rules:

"Verizon Wireless doesn’t block applications in the Android Market; Google manages its market (as we manage V CAST Apps, and other app store providers manage their stores). Developers must adhere to their agreements with the app store providers and there are ways to report and point out non-compliance – for example apps that are essentially network work-arounds.

Free Press filed this complaint with the FCC without contacting us to discuss the facts about the issue, as the FCC rules for formal complaints require. Free Press appears to be more interested garnering attention than finding out the facts.

Verizon Wireless stands by its compliance with the FCC’s C-Block rules. Over the past few years, Verizon Wireless has paved the way for third parties to bring devices and applications to our 4G LTE network under the C-block rules through our Open Development and other programs, and we will continue to do so."

 

Source: Wired


Comments

Re: Free Press Files Complaint Against Verizon

Everyone reading this needs to look up the term "Regulatory Capture". That is what has happened to regulatory agencies in the US.

 
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Matthew WilsonSF have to build upwards they have natural growth limits. they can not grow outwards. ps growing outwards is terable just look at Orlando or Austin for that.04/16/2014 - 4:15pm
ZippyDSMleeIf they built upward then it would becoem like every other place making it worthless, if they don't build upward they will price people out making it worthless, what they need to do is a mix of things not just one exstreme or another.04/16/2014 - 4:00pm
Matthew Wilsonyou know the problem in SF was not the free market going wrong right? it was government distortion. by not allowing tall buildings to be build they limited supply. that is not free market.04/16/2014 - 3:48pm
ZippyDSMleeOh gaaa the free market is a lie as its currently leading them to no one living there becuse they can not afford it makign it worthless.04/16/2014 - 3:24pm
Matthew WilsonIf you have not read http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/ you should. It is a bit stats heavy, but worth the read.04/16/2014 - 2:04pm
Matthew Wilsonthe issue is when is doesn't work it can screw over millions in new york city's case. more often than not it is better to let the free market run its course without market distortion.04/16/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoTrue, and overdone stagnation is a problem. It is a tricky balance. It does not help that when it does work, no one notices. Most people here have benifited from rent controls and not even realized it.04/16/2014 - 9:23am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/04/15/riaa_files_civil_suit_against_megaupload04/16/2014 - 8:48am
ZippyDSMleeEither way you get stagnation as people can not afford the prices they set.04/16/2014 - 8:47am
Neenekowell, specifically it helps people already living there and hurts people who want to live there instead. As for 'way more hurt', majorities generally need less legal protection. yes it hurt more people then it helped, it was written for a minority04/16/2014 - 8:30am
MaskedPixelantehttp://torrentfreak.com/square-enix-drm-boosts-profits-and-its-here-to-stay-140415/ Square proves how incredibly out of touch they are by saying that DRM is the way of the future, and is here to stay.04/16/2014 - 8:29am
james_fudgeUnwinnable Weekly Telethon playing Metal Gear http://www.twitch.tv/rainydayletsplay04/16/2014 - 8:06am
ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
 

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