Surprising it is not, but unfortunate it remains. Carriers in the United States have started working together with Google to block tethering applications in the Android Market from running on certain Android devices. While this pretty much seems like a US-only thing, it’s still bad.
It’s no secret that carriers like Verizon and AT&T do not like tethering. They only like tethering when you pay for more expensive data plans that allow it, but if you don’t have such a plan, you’re not allowed, by the terms of service, to use tethering applications. Despite this, tethering applications were still available in the Android Market. This is now coming to an end, as carriers are working together with Google to block certain devices from installing these tethering devices from the Android Market.
As much as I am generally not a fan of Chris Ziegler, he makes a very good point here that Google might be violating the open access regulations that currently govern the 700Mhz spectrum – Verizon’s LTE network. The weird part here is that Google put $4.6 billion on the line to ensure the open access regulations came into effect, and now, it’s backing out of quite easily.
“It’s unclear what would possess Google to selectively block access to applications at a carrier’s whim after it put over $4.6 billion on the line simply to ensure that the 700MHz spectrum’s open access provisions went into effect,” Ziegler notes, “Heck, it even petitioned the FCC to block Verizon’s bidding back then when it had concerns over the company’s ultimate intentions!”
I would love to hear Google rationalising this one. Bring it.