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FCC Says You Can Tether Your Phone For Free with Verizon – Tech Tuesday

For a while Verizon has been blocking people that load apps on their phones that allow them to share their 3G/4G connection with their other wifi devices. Last week the FCC released a descision about the ability to use tethering on your phone without having to pay extra for it. Seems that the FCC says we should be able to do it. And now that the decision has been made, some people wonder if will affect them. 

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

It all started when Verizon bought some radio spectrum from the Federal Government. There was a stipulation that said, anyone using 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.” Basically, if you want to tether your phone to your tablet and use your data plan, they can’t stop you.

But how does that break down for you and me? If you’re on Verizon, you can download any tethering app you like and use it at no additional cost. The trick being, that Google Play and the iTunes App store don’t allow those apps on their store. So you would have to side load them on your Android or jailbreak your iPhone to get those applications on. Both options the manufactures don’t endorse as you could brick your phone and then you would be very out of luck.

One draw back is that if you are one of the few lucky that has the grandfathered unlimited data plan, than you would be excluded from this and would need to pay an additional $20 a month on your plan. You could try doing it without telling Verizon, but you could either find yourself without service or your grandfathered unlimited data plan switched to the new Share Everything plan.

I would love to know if anyone starts doing this and any reaction you get from Verizon. I’m sure they can’t be happy about it, but my thinking is they will discourage people. Happy tethering!

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