A little over a year ago, Verizon began blocking its customers from downloading tethering applications from the Android Market (now Google Play). The move was meant to get users to pay Verizon $20 a month for the ability to officially tether their device or use it as a mobile hotspot. However, it looks like Verizon subscribers will once again be able to download tethering apps, as the carrier has reached a settlement with the FCC on the matter. As part of the agreement, Verizon will pay the U.S. Treasury $1.25 million and will now allow users to download tethering apps. Verizon has also tweaked its plans a bit, and it now allows users on usage-based (tiered) plans to tether with any app for no extra charge, though customers with unlimited data can still face an extra fee.
This decision was made due to the rules of the C Block spectrum, which Verizon purchased in 2008 and uses to operate its 4G LTE network. The rules state that licensees of the spectrum must allow customers to use any devices and apps that they would like with it. While today's news won't affect customers on Verizon's new Share Everything plans, which include tethering/hotspot access for free, I'm sure that customers on a tiered plan will be glad to hear that they no longer have to worry about ponying up an extra $20 per month fee for tethering use. The full announcement of today's news is available at the FCC link below. How many of you often use your device to tether or as a hotspot?