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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2011
3:09 PM

CONTACT: Free Press

Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

Complaint Shows Verizon’s Failure to Comply with Terms of Spectrum Licenses

WASHINGTON - June 6 - Free Press will file a complaint today with the Federal Communications Commission against Verizon for violating the rules that govern the licenses for its LTE network. Licensees of the C Block of the upper 700 MHz block, over which Verizon runs its LTE network, may not “deny, limit, or restrict” the ability of their customers to use the applications or devices of the customers’ choosing.

Recent reports reveal that Verizon has been doing just that by asking Google to disable tethering applications in the Android Market. Tethering applications, which allow users to make their phones into mobile hot-spots, implicate the customers' ability to use both the applications and devices of their choice. Free Press argues that by preventing customers from downloading tethering applications from the Android Market, Verizon is restricting not only the applications available to them, but also limits use of tethered devices such as laptop or tablet computers.

The complaint asks the FCC to investigate Verizon's flagrant disregard for the conditions of its C-Block licenses.

Read the complaint here:
http://www.freepress.net/resource/free-press-complaint-violation-c-block-conditions

Free Press Policy Counsel Aparna Sridhar made the following statement:

“Verizon’s conduct is bad for the public and bad for innovation. It also appears to be illegal under the FCC’s rules that govern Verizon’s LTE network. Users pay through the nose for Verizon’s LTE service, and having done so, they should be able to use their connections as they see fit. Instead, Verizon’s approach is to sell you broadband but then put up roadblocks to control your use of it.”

“In 2007, Verizon argued aggressively against the adoption of these basic openness protections. Having lost that policy battle but won the auction for the spectrum licenses, Verizon has adopted a new regulatory strategy: simply ignore the rules on the books. The Commission must move quickly to investigate and stop these harmful practices.”

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net



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