The Telecomm Chronicles continue. This time it’s Verizon in the headlines getting in trouble with public interest groups and Google (hmm) over charging extra to use one’s smartphone as a modem in order to access C Block spectrum, when the spectrum licensing agreement which Verizon won states that “licensee(s) shall not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice.” As a Verizon customer, I pay about $15 a month for the modem option over my $40 a month data plan, which is over my $35 month calling plan, oh and texting is extra. I think a decent profit is being made. Still, while I am normally a big champion of the customer, this one gives me pause. To use the modem feature seems an issue of additional capability beyond just data access. If the phone manufacturers build this in and it takes no extra work on Verizon’s part to make this work, then yes it’s an access issue. Techie people – can someone help me out here with the reality of the technology? If it is just so simple as to plug and play, then perhaps Verizon users will be seeing a reduction in their fees in the not too distant future – the FCC is reviewing multiple complaints filed. Wouldn’t AT&T, T-Mobile and others be doing the same?
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