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Verizon Android

Is Verizon Breaking FCC Regulations With Locked Bootloaders? 143

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-they-might-uninstall-nsa.apk dept.
First time accepted submitter PcItalian writes with an excerpt from an interesting editorial on XDA Developers: "The open access provision requires Verizon to 'not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of their customers to use the devices and applications of their choice on the licensee's C Block network.' It goes on to say, 'The potential for excessive bandwidth demand alone shall not constitute grounds for denying, limiting or restricting access to the network.' Verizon bought Block C and tried to have the provisions removed. They failed. ... That means if a device uses the Block C frequencies, Verizon cannot insist what apps or firmware it runs. ... So the question is, do any devices use Block C frequencies? Yes. Some are called Hotspots. Others are called the HTC Thunderbolt... [Hotspots] comply with FCC regulations as far as I'm aware. The HTC Thunderbolt, on the other hand, does not. In the list of rules and exceptions for the Block C license, it says this: 'Handset locking prohibited. No licensee may disable features on handsets it provides to customers, to the extent such features are compliant with the licensee's standards pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section'...'"
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Is Verizon Breaking FCC Regulations With Locked Bootloaders?

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  • The cycle continues (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 24, 2011 @08:22PM (#37826768)

    Normally I dont agree with that kind of defeatism, but Verizon keeps doing this at every turn: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/10/solved-verizon-to-pay-25-million-fine-over-mystery-fees.ars [arstechnica.com]. They are just up to the same old unethical behavior as before. Add uninstallable bloatware nagging you to buy things or use in app billing, they are really biting the hand that feeds them. Android phones are their bread and butter, making them cash hand over fist. Add insane data charges and it's really obvious how badly distorted the wireless market is. The ironic part? Google is who bid the c-block up to the open-access provision level. Forcing the winner to accept open access.

  • by fermion (181285) on Monday October 24, 2011 @09:15PM (#37827172) Homepage Journal
    In the US at leaset, carriers are the customer, not the end user. The carriers determine which features are required and how much money will be spent by the end user and how much support is required from the carrier. This presumable is the reason why Verizon would not deal with Apple back in 2007. Apple was designing a phone for that Apple wanted, and determined the prices Apple wanted. Verizon was not yet in a position where it had to play.

    Google meant to change this situation with Android. Make a phone that consumers wanted, Create a market where consumers bought a phone made for end users, and then allow the carriers to complete for service. This plan, unfortunately, did not work. One reason is that Google was actually not going to service the Google phone, but rather allow the carriers to do incur those costs while Google made a huge profit on each phone. Obviously end users were not wild about paying a company for a product that denied the product was even made by them, and carriers were not wild about providing service for which they would not be paid.

    In any case, everyone has basically blinked and phones are once again made, at least in part, for the carriers. This will happen until we have an old-ATT style breakup in which the governement tells everyone that they have to play nice.

  • by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Monday October 24, 2011 @09:48PM (#37827380)

    No, the way to fix this is to seize all profits made as a result of the violation, and then add a fine on top of that.

    In this case, it would be every HTC Thunderbolt Verizon sold (or rather, the profit made therein).

    Fines will just be considered a business cost until they actually hurt. $100,000 isn't shit when you've sold $10,000,000* worth of phones in a month.

    * Info from the Department of Pulling Numbers from my Ass for the Purpose of an Analogy.

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