Verizon Faces Complaint for Blocking Tethering Apps
Free tethering apps such as easytether, PdaNet, and wifi tethering apps have seemed to disappeared from the Android Market for phone on the AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon network. Apparently Sprint customers are able to access these tethering apps. Reports first came from the blog DroidLife that the free tethering app Wireless Tether could not be downloaded onto AT&T and Verizon Wireless handsets. I can confirm this too, because when I went on the Android market on my Verizon Motorola Droid, I noticed that almost all the tethering apps were gone. A few were left, but they will probably be gone soon too. AT&T and Verizon representatives declined to comment regarding this issue and pointed fingers at Google saying that they were the ones that decided if a tethering app should be on the Android Market or not. A Google spokesman told Fierce Wireless that it has not neither removed nor blocked the app. It instead is simply making them unavailable for download on certain carrier networks at the request of those carriers. If an application is in direct violation of the terms and conditions of a usage contract, a carrier can request Google make the app unavailable, the spokesman told Fierce Wireless. This means that the apps are still on the market, but are just hidden. However, these apps still work and can still be side-loaded onto the device. I have personally tested them and they all seem to be working fine. If the developer distributes the application file in a way other than the Android Market (for example, as a download from their Website) a user can install that on his device.
(I will posts some links to these websites in my upcoming post.) I have posted some links to tethering app on the "Other" page on this blog.
So do you think what the carriers did was fair?
Let us know.