Verizon Wireless has agreed to cough up a $1.25 million fine to settle an FCC complaint in which the carrier was accused of preventing its customers from accessing Android applications that provided alternatives to its own hotspot tethering services. Verizon Wireless did not admit to any wrongdoing, The Wall Street Journal said.
The FCC’s investigation began in 2011 following Verizon’s 700MHz C block spectrum purchase from the FCC. The FCC says it’s illegal for Verizon Wireless to restrict how its customers can access the 4G LTE network, which it deployed in that band. As The Verge points out, part of the initial agreement included the following clause:
Licensees offering service on spectrum subject to this section 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…
Verizon’s existing might see a bit of a difference if third-party applications enable them enable hotspot features for less than what the carrier charges, but the carrier’s latest shared data plans now include the hotspot service.