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new iphone 5 + $70/month limited tiered 2gb/month plan = no hotspot ?? FCC rules violation?
electronicsguy

Hello all,

I got a new iphone 5 from the verizon store in michigan. I chose the $70/month plan with 450 minutes + 2gb/month data. So it is a LTE capable phone offered by Verizon on a limited tiered data plan.

Now according to the FCC decision, Verizon is not supposed to block hotspot tethering on this plan on a phone which uses the LTE spectrum. (details here: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-315501A1.pdf)

However, I am unable to enable the hotspot or tethering feature. When I try to enable personal hotspot, it shows a popup on the screen saying "contact verizon" by either going to the website or calling them.

This is contrary to the verizon obligations under the FCC requirements. I have written a letter to verizon but haven't heard back from them. Its obvious that the hotspot has not been provisioned on this account but why I don't know.

Is anyone else having the same problem? If so, did you get it resolved?

thanks,

Labels (1)
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Re: new iphone 5 + $70/month limited tiered 2gb/month plan = no hotspot ?? FCC rules violation?
Not applicable

FCC said Verizon couldn't block tethering APPS. They didn't say Verizon couldn't charge you for tethering. What's the point of tethering if you only have 2 GB anyway? Share Everything has tethering included in the price. Should have gone that way I guess.

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Re: new iphone 5 + $70/month limited tiered 2gb/month plan = no hotspot ?? FCC rules violation?
rcschnoor
Super User
Super User

vzw-tempname-503ba8e7-ce3e-4723-a54e-0a807dc86e6a wrote:

However, I am unable to enable the hotspot or tethering feature. When I try to enable personal hotspot, it shows a popup on the screen saying "contact verizon" by either going to the website or calling them.

Did you "contact verizon" by  either going to the website of calling them. If not, how do you know you are unable to enable the hotspot or tethering feature?

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Re: new iphone 5 + $70/month limited tiered 2gb/month plan = no hotspot ?? FCC rules violation?
electronicsguy

I already replied that yes, I wrote them a letter, as in black n white.

I know I am 'unable' to enable by clicking on the hotspot button on the iphone and seeing that pop-up instead of the hotspot being enabled.

Is that more clear?

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Re: new iphone 5 + $70/month limited tiered 2gb/month plan = no hotspot ?? FCC rules violation?
electronicsguy

Why its necessary is my problem, not anybody else's. IF I want to use 2gb thru the PC, I should be able to.

note: they are indeed blocking - otherwise the hotspot button once clicked would not show that pop-up, it would go into hotspot settings.

They DID say that verizon cannot charge for it. IS this not clear from the official FCC documents:

" the company recently revised its service offerings such that consumers on usage-based pricing plans may tether, using any application, without paying an additional fee"

so your argument is false. not including the hotspot in this plan just seems to be an oversight on their part, because according to the rules as i understand, they do not have the luxury to block it.

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Re: new iphone 5 + $70/month limited tiered 2gb/month plan = no hotspot ?? FCC rules violation?
dimap52
Specialist

Verizon has a very inconsistent business model regarding tethering. Tablets on a 2 Gig data plan CAN tether/hotspot but smartphones CAN'T. Tethering has always been borked on my 2 Gig plan, whether 3G or 4G. I think it's outrageous that you can put a ONE gig data plan (for FIFTY DOLLARS no less) on a Share Everything plan and tether, but NOT on a 2 Gig individual plan. I just upgraded my plan to 4 Gig to test the tethering and hotspot functions on my new Razr M and I'm delighted to find out all 3 tethering pipes (USB, WiFi, BlueTooth) work on my Linux box but as a matter of principle that I don't feel tethering is a service that carriers should have a LEGAL right to charge for, I won't be keeping it very long.

But Brian68 is right in that the FCC did NOT say Verizon couldn't charge for tethering although I strongly wish they had, particularly for usage-based data packages. So your only options are:

1 Switch to Share Everything Plan, Tethering is included, data allowances are the pits for what they charge, considering the line access fees.

2 Switch to 4 Gig data w/ Hotspot plan (extra $20 a month, maybe you can use the extra data, waste of money if you can't)

3 Call and b**ch like crazy, I've read somewhere that sometimes they will give you a $0 cost tethering SKU to shut you up, but I have no idea how effective that is.

Tethering fees are a total crock to me, especially when you are already paying for a capped amount of data, with tethering possibly pushing you into lucrative overage charges. Double dipping at it's worst. Makes me MAD like nothing else.

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Re: new iphone 5 + $70/month limited tiered 2gb/month plan = no hotspot ?? FCC rules violation?
electronicsguy

They DID say that verizon cannot charge for it. IS this not clear from the official FCC documents:

" the company recently revised its service offerings such that consumers on usage-based pricing plans may tether, using any application, without paying an additional fee".

I only want them to follow what they promised to the FCC. This non-offering just seems to be an oversight.

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Re: new iphone 5 + $70/month limited tiered 2gb/month plan = no hotspot ?? FCC rules violation?
dimap52
Specialist

Not an oversight at all. However, the iPhone is at a bit of a disadvantage since my understanding is Apple won't allow any tethering apps in the iPhone store. If you use a third party app, verizon will no longer prevent you from using it or charge tethering fee for doing so. If you feel the ruling entitles you to use th app on the phone, then challenge verizon in a court of law and test the legitimacy and extent of the ruling. As it is, Verizon has filed an appeal contesting FCC authority to make these rules.

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Re: new iphone 5 + $70/month limited tiered 2gb/month plan = no hotspot ?? FCC rules violation?
electronicsguy

Apple already has the tethering hotspot app installed in the phone. They blocking is because of the specific carrier settings set by verizon. No app needs to be installed extra in addition to whats already there. IF they allow a 3rd party app, then they should anyways allow the default hotspot app.

I will write to them again because according to my understanding they are in the wrong. Its so sad that this pseudo-monopolistic behavior of US telecoms still doesn't change in the 21st century. 'Pipes' should do what they are good at, and not try to peek in into content or put restrictive barriers.

They are free to contest all they like, but they must follow the rules as long as they are in place.

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Re: new iphone 5 + $70/month limited tiered 2gb/month plan = no hotspot ?? FCC rules violation?
21stNow
Master

electronicsguy wrote:

They DID say that verizon cannot charge for it. IS this not clear from the official FCC documents:

" the company recently revised its service offerings such that consumers on usage-based pricing plans may tether, using any application, without paying an additional fee".

I only want them to follow what they promised to the FCC. This non-offering just seems to be an oversight.

What is written here is true.  Verizon Wireless did recently revise their service offerings so that consumers on usage-based pricing plans may tether.  This usage-based pricing plan is the Share Everything plan.  Note that the writing from the FCC does not say "all usage-based plans".  Since VZW is no longer offering your plan to new customers, they can probably get away with this because all new customers have to be on Share Everything and existing customers have the option to switch to it.

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