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Is Verizon Breaking FCC Regulations With Locked Bootloaders?

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the but-they-might-uninstall-nsa.apk dept.

Verizon 143

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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Great (1)

Aerorae (1941752) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826648)

So what now? It's not like we can show this to Verizon and go "HAH! SEE! TOLDJA SO!" and expect them to unlock anything. If anything they've known about this for a very long time.

Re:Great (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37826670)

No... you go to the FCC and let them know, and they fine Verizon... and then Verizon raises its rates to cover the losses and then.... fuck.

The cycle continues (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:The cycle continues (4, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826918)

the way to stop this kind of BS is to make as a statutory penalty when a company is found violating any Law or FCC or FTC rule all customers have the option to cancel their contract with no fee or requirement to return a handset.

Re:The cycle continues (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827138)

that's not a bad idea.

my idea is to have the CEOs of such companies in violation wear a chicken suit in public for 30 days. (the other exec staff don't have to go as chickens but they do have to dress up as some kind of fowl.)

that would bring corporate abuse down to zero faster than you can say 'kernel [sic] sanders'.

or, is that just a crock pot idea?

Re:The cycle continues (2)

Adriax (746043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827190)

Never devise punishments on an empty stomach.

Re:The cycle continues (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827540)

"Never devise punishments on an empty stomach."

Huh? Chicken tastes like.....chicken.

Re:The cycle continues (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827230)

Pay me what the CEOs are making, and I'll wear a chicken suit for 30 days. These fuckers can take a little humiliation, it doesn't change their bottom line.

These fuckers need to be hit where it hurts the most; the wallet. And I'm not talking about the companies wallet, I mean the HMFIC's personal bank accounts.

Also, convict a company of wrong doing? Did the HMFIC know about it? Since the HMFIC represents the company and the company is a 'person' make the company do the prison time, is the form of the HMFIC personally serving the time. And don't let them hire some fall guy to be HMFIC in name only; I'm talking about the HMFIC at the time the incident occurred. Also seize the fuckers 'golden parachute', under various rules for taking the assets of criminals who are paid to commit crimes.

Then corporate corruption will go to zero.

Re:The cycle continues (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827406)

highest mother fucker in charge?

Re:The cycle continues (1)

roblarky (1103715) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827640)

I'm guessing "Head MotherFucker In Charge". Bringing the "HNIC" term from the movie Lean On Me (at least the first time I heard it..) into a racially and politically correct format (I'm assuming the CEO of VZW is not an African-American).

Re:The cycle continues (3, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827972)

"Nigger" doesn't necessarily refer to a black person. There are plenty of white niggers, for example. There may even be some asian niggers. And there's definitely a lot of mexican niggers. In a few years, there will probably be more mexican niggers than black niggers.

Re:The cycle continues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37829860)

head

Re:The cycle continues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37829926)

Head Mother Fucker In Charge.... or possibly HalfCaf Mocha Frappachino In Charge.

Re:The cycle continues (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828064)

I like the idea of the head honchos at the company going to jail for the crimes they oversee, as well as elimination of those "golden parachutes".
But I tend to get rather vindictive towards those that act with impunity simply because they think they can get away with it.

Re:The cycle continues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37829838)

Or they pay to change the law. Just saying.

Re:The cycle continues (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828056)

Define public... If you don't do that sufficiently, they'll find a way to worm out of it.

Re:The cycle continues (3, Interesting)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Violate license...lose it (4, Insightful)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827806)

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.

The 'fine' should be loss of the license. They appear to have broken the license deliberately to make more money so they should have to repay the money and then lose the license for having proven themselves untrustworthy to have it. This would certainly be disruptive to customers but if governments behaved this way you'd soon see companies taking their responsibilities a lot more seriously and there there would be less need for such forceful action.

Re:Violate license...lose it (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829246)

You don't have to go so far, and hurt the customer. Just take away the ill-gotten gains and then some as suggested above in the comment you quoted which removes the profit motive.

Re:Violate license...lose it (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829364)

I'd go a little farther. Take away the ill gotten gains and fine them. Seize the spectrum and open it. Consumer devices will still work.

Re:Violate license...lose it (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829418)

Uh no, no they won't. Without regulation, that particular type of spectrum use won't work, because you'll have would-be players stepping on one another's use. Licensing spectrum is one of the few legitimate purposes for the FCC.

Mind you, other consumer devices could be made to work on that spectrum if we weren't using it for same, but everyone using it now would be ass out.

Re:The cycle continues (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828566)

That would be wonderful but i just don't see it happening, the 1% like the guys on top of Verizon thanks to Citizens United can just pay off any lawmakers and get immunity. I mean when they didn't bust intel who frankly made MSFT's actions that got them busted look like choirboys? I mean if rigging the most used compiler to send any chip they don't approve of (including their own P3 to make the P4 look like a decent product) through the ringer by forcing all math to use x87 mode (which has been depreciated for nearly 15 years) while bribing the ENTIRE PC OEM INDUSTRY so badly that one CEO compared their bribes to cocaine and STILL they don't get busted? really?

Hell with today's climate they could replace the default picture on all Verizon phones with goatse and would probably have a line of politicians standing up to applaud and tell them how wonderful they were for teaching the public about the importance of rectal exams!

Lets face it, they'll just get a puny fine that isn't even 1/20th they make on the screwjob, just so the bribed officials can claim they "did something about it" and they'll slip the congress critters a check while writing their fines off on their taxes! This is why we are gonna end up (I would argue we are already) on the short bus to the information superhighway while Asia rolls out supernetworks.

Re:The cycle continues (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37827682)

The best punishment is to revoke their license on the C band. They broke the terms on the license, they lose the license. Best for the US public as the FCC can re-auction C band for a few billion..

Re:Great (1)

VJmes (2449518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826834)

In an ideal capitalistic market, Verizon would then lose business from the higher pricing, their competition would get a leg-up. The alternative being that they do not pass this cost onto the consumer and remain at a competitive price-point.

In this bullshit version of real-world capitalism, Verizon increases the price and then the competition does as well, simply because they can get away with it. The alternative is that very few people can move carrier because of prohibitive consumer contracts, by the time many of these contracts have expired, consumers simply renew partially out of forgetfulness and partially due to convenience.

Re:Great (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826932)

The issue here isn't capitalism, it's failing to heed the warnings of Adam Smith, if you don't have sufficient regulation, this is exactly the kind of bitch slap you get from the invisible hand.

Re:Great (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827432)

Given the prices we paid in the fully-regulated days before the Ma Bell breakup, I'm not sure that regulation would do much to lower prices. Making all companies operate on the same spectrum would help, though.

Re:Great (0)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827898)

Given the prices we paid in the fully-regulated days before the Ma Bell breakup, I'm not sure that regulation would do much to lower prices.

What was the average household telephone expense before the break-up? What is it now?

Instead of breaking up the Phone Company into little blobs that have merged back together faster than a Terminator, I think Bell should have been nationalized. Cause privatization has never made anything cheaper; quite the contrary. With capitalism, you get the cheapest product the market is willing to put up with at the highest price they are willing to pay. And unregulated capitalism is a recipe for corporate monopoly, as it allows for the leader to buy all competitors.

Re:Great (2)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829334)

Total household spending on Internet service in 1980 was zero. Total household spending on telegrams in 1980 was not much more. Total cost is rarely the best measure.

And nationalization is even worse. Why does it appeal so much to you? Is there some special expertise in government that makes running a phone company a good idea? It's not like the post office, which at least has the noble concept of providing all citizens access to certain basic communication at a low price via a mechanism that the government cannot cast official doubt upon.

Re:Great (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827858)

if you don't have sufficient regulation...

I think the problem is not so much insufficient regulation so much as ineffectual regulation. If the consequence of violating the regulations is a 'tut, tut' and (possibly) confiscating their pocket change is it any wonder that they flout the rules?

Re:Great (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829316)

No the issue here is as usual to much regulation, and overly centralized regulation rather than two little. The regulation has created the entry barriers and made the market to little to function properly. Spectrum allocation should be in that hands of state and local municipalities, NOT the federal government.

Downside its likely nation wide cellular service with a single handset would be difficult, up side the customer would have a much more competitive market and lower costs for service around their home town.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37829886)

OK, that is really really funny but if it was a real suggestion - it doesn't pass the smell test. Honestly - spectrum allocation done by the state and local municipalities? That's a riot. I guess if you don't want wireless to work it is a good way to make it happen. See, that the problem with "oh, there is too much regulation for the market to work". You have to balance that with the people who actually want their STUFF to work. Some regulation is good and needed.

Re:Great (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827124)

More like you can tell the FCC and then they might get around to eventually filing a official complain with Verizon and years pass and nothing comes of it.

Re:Great (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828872)

With continued abuse, they are in violation of agreement and they lose the right to use Block C frequencies. Would anyone in the FCC stand to keep their job after resorting to such a response to repeated abuse? After all, there's abuse by mistake and there's wilful abuse. After being informed of the problem by the FCC, they are responsible not only to pay any fines, but also for correcting the problem. Failure to correct the problem and to continue the abuse then becomes wilful. They paid a lot of money to get the use of those frequencies. Sure would be a shame for Verizon to lose them... pretty sure there's no refund for that.

Re:Great (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826718)

Class action, maybe? Or FCC fines, that'd probably more effective.

Re:Great (1)

TennCasey (1667347) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826728)

Nah, they'd probably just pay the fines and go about business as usual. It's not like the FCC would do anything about it.

Re:Great (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826754)

Nah, they'd probably just pay the fines and go about business as usual. It's not like the FCC would do anything about it.

It might get somewhere if somebody in Congress notices it and runs out of things to complain about while trying to not fix the economy.

Re:Great (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827088)

Class action, maybe?

Mandatory arbitration clause.

Or FCC fines, that'd probably more effective.

They'd just pay the fines and pass on the cost to the consumer, or donate to a few Congressional campaigns to get the oversight committees to yell at the FCC if the fines were actually relative to the resources Verizon has. It'd be far more effective for the FCC to go to court to get an injunction, but that kind of thing would just get Verizon to donate to a few Congressional campaigns....

Re:Great (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827274)

Mandatory arbitration clauses might not stick up in court. Regardless, come to think of it class action probably wouldn't be appropriate anyways (they haven't harmed the consumer, they violated FCC regulations.)

Also, fines might have been the wrong word. What I meant was the FCC can tell Verizon "stop using Block C or stop locking down bootloaders." Verizon wouldn't like doing the first (although they wouldn't like the second, either).

The fines are just icing on the cake, although I agree they'll probably just be passed on to consumers. That wouldn't be a problem, of course, if the mobile market in the US was free (everyone could go elsewhere) but alas, it isn't really. And AT&T wants to make it less free. Damnit. this is why I don't own a smartphone.

Re:Great (4, Informative)

mariasama16 (1895136) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826740)

There was a lawsuit filed against Verizon specifically because of this several months ago, though that lawsuit was more focused on tethering rather than locked bootloaders. Source: http://www.droid-life.com/2011/06/06/tethering-complaint-filed-with-fcc-by-free-press-against-verizon/ [droid-life.com]

Oh really? (5, Insightful)

JRowe47 (2459214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826650)

Like Verizon would let a silly little thing like laws get in their way...

Re:Oh really? (1)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827710)

Or like the FCC would let a silly little thing like laws get in their way. We shall see if they have any spine.

Re:Oh really? (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828994)

>>Like Verizon would let a silly little thing like laws get in their way...

I'd donate money to anyone suing them to stop them from doing this sort of shit.

I don't want to look at "Need for Speed" or "Madden" or a dozen other trial apps that I can't fucking remove every time I pull up my applications list on my phone.

Fuck Verizon (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37826662)

I will revert to smoke signals before I use their "services" ever again.

And I speak from experience, having been abused by them.

Re:Fuck Verizon (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827762)

...and ATT/Sprint/T-Mobile are better.....how?

Re:Fuck Verizon (1)

PenquinCoder (1431871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827976)

I will not ever go back to using Verizon, either. I agree with AC sentiment towards 'fuck verizon'. This does -not- mean I will have to choose ATT/Sprint/Virgin Mobile or whatever. A cellphone is not a neccesity, I can do without.

Re:Fuck Verizon (2)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828252)

And this children, is known as the "tu quoque" fallacy. See also "...and the Democrats/Republicans/Invading Alien Armada are better ... how?" It is a logical fallacy employed by those who have nothing meaningful to say in making their point, so they just point fingers in the other direction as if it were a relevant response to the previous speaker. Many of them actually believe this passes for logical argument.

Re:Fuck Verizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37829962)

It passes for a logical argument not only because I said so, but because many people believe it does. Anyone who says otherwise is a communist hippy.

Counter-Argument. (1)

Hotweed Music (2017854) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826720)

Apparently what they're doing isn't necessarily illegal, according to Android Police.

http://www.androidpolice.com/2011/10/24/psa-verizon-locking-bootloaders-on-lte-devices-likely-does-not-violate-fcc-block-c-spectrum-rules/ [androidpolice.com]

Re:Counter-Argument. (1)

SmurfButcher Bob (313810) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826936)

Interesting view that may hold water.

However, the position becomes weak when there IS a security issue and Verizon fails to patch it within minutes of a fix being available. Or as WinMo 6 users like to call it, "The Windows Update feature that Wasn't."

An old slogan, paraphrased. (3, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826796)

Verizon: we keep working you like a whore.

Re:An old slogan, paraphrased. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37826976)

You keep buying their shit like an addict.
 
Strange that lazy Americans can't help but bitch about the companies they simply won't learn to live without. You're lazy and you cry for big brother to fix it for you. You get what you deserve. Fucking lazy cunt American.

Re:An old slogan, paraphrased. (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827408)

sadly in some places there really isnt a real option. where i live i can buy verizon... oh i can buy other phones, but there is no signal at my house for anyone but verizon..and even that is spotty. So while in europe that may not be the case where everything is closer together, where we are more rural it makes your choices limited.

Land lines (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827470)

oh i can buy other phones, but there is no signal at my house for anyone but verizon

Not even a land line? I thought that's what the universal service fee was for: to get land-line coverage up to 100%.

Re:Land lines (2)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827782)

oh i can buy other phones, but there is no signal at my house for anyone but verizon

Not even a land line? I thought that's what the universal service fee was for: to get land-line coverage up to 100%.

Where I live, the land line choices are Verizon... and Verizon. There was even an article in the local paper [hamptonroads.com] today about how Verizon is letting its copper infrastructure go to waste, so if you live in a place that doesn't have FTTx, you're definitely screwed.

Re:Land lines (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829646)

As I understand it, the land line operations of Verizon are largely separate from the operations of Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless.

Re:Land lines (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828256)

Not even a land line?.

Who do you think owns the landlines?

Depending on where you live, you either get AT&T, Centurylink (formerly Qwest, and USWest before that), or Verizon.

here's a map [porticus.org] . A bit old, so the names are wrong, but the areas are still accurate.

USWest is now CenturyLink, Pacific Telesis, Southwestern Bell, Bellsouth, and Ameritech are now the new AT&T, and Bell Atlantic and NYNEX formed Verizon.

Re:An old slogan, paraphrased. (4, Funny)

MiniMaul (267339) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827252)

Verizon: we keep working you like a whore.

or the newer slogan: can you feel me now?

Whos fault? HTC or Verizon? (1)

Falc0n (618777) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826854)

I have the HTC Thunderbolt, unlocked running BAMF. According to the verizon rep, the bootloader lockdown was at the request of HTC. Additionally, the warranty is handled by the manufacturer, and would be void by them, not verizon. He told me that I could return the phone, and verizon only does some cursory testing to see if it turns on, functions, etc. The fact it was rooted wouldn't be detected until handed to HTC.
Now this is all assuming Verizon isn't lying to me. It could very well be all false. But it seems like they're trying to pin the fault on locked down phones to the manufacturer, NOT themselves. Aren't there some Android phones, made by Verizon that are unlocked?

Re:Whos fault? HTC or Verizon? (2)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826908)

It is locked by HTC at Verizon's request. It is also denied warranty by HTC at Verizon's request. So yes, technically it is "HTC", but only insofar as they were told "do this or we won't take the phone at all".

Re:Whos fault? HTC or Verizon? (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826996)

Thats one hell of an end run around the requirement for the spectrum. They are still knowingly selling a non compliant phone would seem reasonable they would need to stop selling defective phones and replace the ones they sold.

Re:Whos fault? HTC or Verizon? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827292)

Motorola just claimed with the new 'RAZR' that it was specifically Verizon that is causing the bootloader to be locked, on Verizon's version of the phone.

The handset in question is locked by HTC (0)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37826964)

HTC isn't a licensee.

HTC doesn't just lock phones that go to Verizon; they lock all of the phones they sell. You are buying a phone from HTC that HTC locks. Verizon can't tell you what you can or can't put on that phone, but by buying into HTC's walled garden, HTC can tell you what you will or won't put on that phone.

Verizon in fact can't even tell HTC to unlock their phone (not that they would want to) because they aren't allowed to tell the manufacturer how to make their phone.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827008)

Absolute rubbish. Apple tried to do away with removable SIM's entirely and the carriers said no. I suggest reading this interview:
http://allthingsd.com/20110523/exclusive-france-telecom-ceo-on-apple-android-and-how-you-can-kiss-your-unlimited-plan-goodbye/ [allthingsd.com]

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (0)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827048)

First of all, that's in Europe, not the US, and thus second of all, there is no FCC mandate as to what European carriers are allowed to do on the C block.

Pretty fail for a troll attempt.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827122)

Attempt at a troll? You said carriers don't dictate what manufacturers do with their phones. That's patently false, with evidence provided. If you think it doesn't extend to the US, you have your head in the sand. They tell the manufacturers yay or nay on every feature on the phone, and if the handset manufacturers don't comply, the phone doesn't get sold. Just like they dictate when phone updates are pushed, and what updates they get.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (-1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827184)

Dude did you even read the article? No wait, I'll answer that: You didn't.

This is talking about the C block in the US, mandated by the FCC that all devices licensed to use that spectrum will not be locked down.

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/08/03/20/209206/google-a-happy-loser-in-spectrum-auction [slashdot.org]

By putting phones on that spectrum, they MUST allow the OEMs to do whatever they want; Verizon merely serves as a dumb pipe. I don't know whether or not you have similar rules in Europe, but this rule certainly applies in the US.

Learn to RTFA

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827258)

HTC doesn't just lock phones that go to Verizon; they lock all of the phones they sell. You are buying a phone from HTC that HTC locks. Verizon can't tell you what you can or can't put on that phone, but by buying into HTC's walled garden, HTC can tell you what you will or won't put on that phone.

I RTFA. You made a false statement. You're now saying that Verizon couldn't tell them to do something because it's against the law. Good call. Verizon couldn't possibly tell another company to break the law, because it breaks the law. In fact, nobody can break the law. I bet you've never gone above the speed limit, because it's against the law. There was no price collusion in the memory market for years, because it was against the law. Intel didn't shit on AMD at OEM's, because it was agains the law.

You made an incorrect statement, I gave you proof otherwise that MFG's have long since demanded phone manufacturers make phones to their specification. Claiming they can't because it's on the C-block is humorous at best. They can do whatever they want right up until the point they get caught. Which is what this article is about, had you RTFA.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (-1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827322)

They can do whatever they want right up until the point they get caught. Which is what this article is about, had you RTFA.

And how exactly did they get caught? HTC made a phone that is locked down, and sold that to their customers, through Verizon. Verizon didn't get caught doing anything; they didn't even do anything wrong. TFA points the blame at Verizon, but in this case the blame for that phone being locked lies squarely with HTC.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827534)

You don't get it.

Verizon dictates, htc produces, verizon sells and operates. verizon is largely at fault.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828106)

The day Verizon allows customers to walk into a Verizon store and buy a R-UIM card that will allow them to use any physically-compatible phone on Verizon, you might have a point. However, in the real world, Verizon and Sprint dictate the phones available for use on their networks, and have more or less complete veto power (the sole real-world exception being that Verizon will grudgingly allow you to use a Sprint twin of a Verizon phone that's been reflashed to Verizon firmware, but AFAIK nobody has EVER gotten a completely alien phone (with EVDOrev.A chipset) to do EVDOrev.A on Verizon, and as of a year or so ago, if you were willing to live with slow 1xRTT to use an alien phone on Verizon, you'd still have dysfunctional voicemail and MMS.

Remember, the T-Mobile and AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II has a better CDMA chipset than Sprint's does. In theory, someone able to create his own radio firmware and access to Verizon's internal docs could forcibly reflash one to do EVDO on Verizon. The catch is, to do it legally, he'd probably have to get his phone individually certified by the FCC, because Samsung only had the GSM SGS2 officially certified for GSM and UMTS, even though the Qualcomm chipset inside is perfectly capable of CDMA.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (-1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827012)

Just to further drive my point to home: HTC also locks phones that they sell to Sprint. Meanwhile, Sprint has the Nexus S 4G on their network, which features an unlocked bootloader.

Sprint never made any request for the bootloader to be locked down, and Samsung (the manufacturer) said they won't lock any of their phones unless either Sprint or Google asked them to. The end result? You have an unlocked phone on the Sprint network.

Keep in mind, that Sprint is under no mandate from the FCC to unlock anything.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827550)

If your point stands, why is my Sprint Samsung Epic 4g locked??

You still don't get it. The litle pieces and crappy assemblies of ideas you keep pushing about this topic is comedy at its best. Its fun watching you eat your foot evry step of the way.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (1)

toadlife (301863) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827792)

why is my Sprint Samsung Epic 4g locked??

It's not. It and all other Samsung phones can be easily flashed with a program called ODIN. Just tar up the filesystem images, modem, and kernel and flash away.

Google: ODIN samsung [lmgtfy.com]

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827090)

Verizon in fact can't even tell HTC to unlock their phone (not that they would want to) because they aren't allowed to tell the manufacturer how to make their phone.

Oh, is it so [htcdev.com] ?

HTC is committed to assisting customers in unlocking bootloaders for HTC devices. However, certain models may not be unlockable due to operator restrictions. We continue to work with our partners on this, check back often for ongoing updates about unlockable devices.

Granted, nowhere is Verizon mentioned explicitly in regards with the unlockable devices... but neither can be said that Verizon cannot ask HTC to unlock their phones.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (0)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827130)

Oh, is it so [htcdev.com]?

Yes, actually.

That setup only applies to HTC's new phones, not phones already on the market, such as the Thunderbolt. And believe it or not, that isn't a full unlock. I own an HTC Evo 3D which is unlockable by that system. It doesn't turn off the security flag in the android hboot.

This means that while you can load custom roms that way, you still don't have a full nand unlock, and thus can't even load a custom recovery image, or do a number of other things.

This came about largely as a result of a bunch of posts to facebook, so they added this system. This is their halfway approach that silences those who were making all of the noise yet keeps the phone semi-locked down. The Nexus S 4G on the other hand is a full unlock.

Granted, nowhere is Verizon mentioned explicitly in regards with the unlockable devices... but neither can be said that Verizon cannot ask HTC to unlock their phones.

Again, Verizon can't tell the OEM's what to do with their phones. If you buy a phone that is locked, that is your choice.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (1)

green1 (322787) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827236)

Verizon can't tell the OEM's what to do with their phones. If you buy a phone that is locked, that is your choice.

Verizon can't tell an OEM what to do with their phone, however Verizon CAN tell an OEM what to do with their phone if they want Verizon to carry it. This means that if said OEM doesn't comply they loose a HUGE retail opportunity. Most OEMs would rather let the carrier dictate terms than loose the carrier as a sales channel.

What you're saying would likely be true in one of 2 worlds:
1) A world where handsets are sold separately from service contracts (much of the world, but not North America)
2) A small enough carrier that the OEM wouldn't care if they lost them (again, not Verizon)

The end result is that carriers frequently DO dictate terms to the OEMs, in fact, to my knowledge the only OEM to ever stand up to a carrier on this one is Apple... and only because they wanted to put their own restrictions on instead of letting the carriers put theirs on.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827284)

Verizon can't tell an OEM what to do with their phone, however Verizon CAN tell an OEM what to do with their phone if they want Verizon to carry it. This means that if said OEM doesn't comply they loose a HUGE retail opportunity. Most OEMs would rather let the carrier dictate terms than loose the carrier as a sales channel.

Hmm....No, not exactly.

On the C block, they can force Verizon to activate the phone for subscribers who request it. But the question ends up being: Is this profitable for the OEM? When an OEM makes a phone available for a given carrier, usually the carrier handles a lot of the burden of advertising and promoting that phone. For example, on Verizons website, Verizon stores, or orders over the phone, Verizon can completely deny that phone even exists if they'd like.

If you as a customer bring them a phone to that spectrum (passing FCC checks, of course) Verizon must make services available to it on your request. But how successful an OEM would be at providing that model is another question. Google tried to sell the original Nexus that way (unlocked, available to any GSM carrier that would take it) and it didn't sell too well from their own channels. Instead it was through t-mobil's channels that sold it well.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (1)

green1 (322787) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827606)

That's because in North America phones are tied to contracts. Sure I can bring any phone I want and activate it on my current provider, but then I have to spend several hundred dollars on a phone. The carrier is willing to give me their phone for "free" if I sign a 3 year term. Now in an ideal world they'd give me a discount if I brought my own, but they don't, so I pay for that "free" phone whether I take it or not, I might as well take it. How many OEMs are willing to risk going up against free with a several hundred dollar device while also battling the marketing clout of the carrier? All just so they don't have to agree to the carrier's terms of locking the phone down and adding a few bloatware apps? Highly unlikely.

As I said, while OEMs don't "have" to do what a carrier asks of them, the truth is that they do, all the time, and if they don't, they won't sell any phones.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827620)

On the C block, they can force Verizon to activate the phone for subscribers who request it. But the question ends up being: Is this profitable for the OEM?

'Course it is!!! "You brick the phone by ROM modding, you're outside of warranty... I sympathize with you; here, let me sell you my new model; you get a 10% discount for your 3days old brick".

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (3, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827172)

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.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (2)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827216)

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.

The C block is an exception. Read the links provided in the summary. Verizon isn't allowed to dictate features or limits to devices that make use of the C block.

Re:The handset in question is locked by HTC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828184)

Sony Ericsson has an option called Openboot that is in effect on all phones they sell if the carrier hasn't explicitly stated that they want it locked. It becomes rather simple to then check if there's a Sony Ericsson phone that's open on other carriers and locked on Verizon.

To quote GWB (0)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827028)

"It's just a fucking piece of paper"

Verizon will do what they will, because the penalties for not complying with regulations are infinitesimal compared to the profits from nickel-and-diming customers.

--
BMO

Re:To quote GWB (4, Informative)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827066)

Bush never actually said that, by the way.

http://factcheck.org/2007/12/bush-the-constitution-a-goddamned-piece-of-paper/ [factcheck.org]

Re:To quote GWB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37827382)

It doesn't matter if you point out the truth. We heard that Clinton said the same thing. Eventually Obama will supposedly say it too and dumb monkeys who keep voting for dumb and dumber will keep claiming that "the other side" did something or other first and that justifies why they do it back. Blah blah blah blah blah.
 
It's old and it's tired but the retards will keep making these foolish claims. But have no fear, knowing this makes it that much easier to know who isn't worth listening to.

Re:To quote GWB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828262)

> Bush never actually said that, by the way.

Well your critical thinking skills aren't much better than the parent poster.

The article to which you linked states that he probably didn't.

No-one can know definitively whether or not he did so.

Re:To quote GWB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37828426)

You probably don't beat your wife.

No-one can know definitively whether or not you do so.

(see also "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" by Carl Sagan)

Re:To quote GWB (2)

http (589131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828364)

Bush didn't say it, he did it. Actions speak so much louder than words.

Re:To quote GWB (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827456)

Verizon will do what they will, because the penalties for not complying with regulations are infinitesimal compared to the profits from nickel-and-diming customers.

Exactly. The penalties should be more significant, like fix it in 30 days or lose the spectrum, no fees refunded.

Its Verizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37827070)

HTC has a bootloader unlock tool, however it doesn't support the thunderbolt. It has the usual drawback (voided warranty), but it would still be worth it to have an officially sanctioned unlock process. If I were to guess, the reason for this situation is due to external pressure from a certain carrier on HTC.

Oh, and this was posted from a laptop tethered to an HTC thunderbolt with an "unlocked" bootloader.

What about C block bidders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37827304)

Would other companies that bid on the C block have standing to sue? Some allegation like... Verizon's willful violation of its license terms demonstrates that it won the auction on false pretenses; those false representations led competitors to lose the auction, etc., etc.

Why would we talk about suing? (5, Insightful)

chaboud (231590) | more than 2 years ago | (#37827636)

Non-compliance by Verizon is cause for the FCC's termination of Verizon's licenses of C-Block bands. At that point, the FCC should reclaim the licenses and re-auction them to parties who would know that they can sub-lease them to a Verizon that they have by the balls.

The move here is to petition the executive branch to actually do its fucking job, which may mean firing the entire Genachowski FCC and starting over.

Installing a new OS on my Windows machine doesn't void the warranty, and neither should installing a new build of Android on an Android device. There should be a golden bootloader that is locked that then allows the installation of any operating system software. Then you can make a relatively unbrickable device that gives people complete choice. TPM for the DRM dicks if you really think you have to, bud I'd rather that we, as a people, decide to stop stabbing ourselves in the face.

Verizon shouldn't be allowed any end-runs, nor should, frankly, anyone else. So the FCC didn't man up and actually give us network and device neutrality that makes sense. That's not the end of the world if they actually enforce C-Block restrictions effectively.

I've not looked at the regulation in question (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37829146)

But, depending on the circumstance, a lawsuit might compel the FCC to take action.

I like the Switzerland model (1)

Wattos (2268108) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828006)

Here in Switzerland you can buy your phone at any shop that sells mobiles and sign a contract with a phone company.

The cool thing is, if you do so, you get a phone which came directly from a factory, e.g. no sim lock, no bloatware, etc. It is a really cool approach, but I dont know how heager us companies would be to adapt this approach.

Re:I like the Switzerland model (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#37830190)

That has been a common complaint in the US for years. I wish I had bought a phone while I was in Europe and brought it back with me to the states. As much of a libertarian as I am I still see the need for market regulation especially since we have an imperfect free market.

Probably (1)

sangreal66 (740295) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828080)

and this is not the first time the question has been raised -- see also: potential future 4G iPhone (which will be very interesting)

With regards to the Thunderbolt, however, the bootloader is easily unlocked so it doesn't seem to be the best case to get upset about.

Not a violation (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828438)

The requirement doesn't mean they have to hook up only unlocked phones. Just like the requirement decades ago wasn't that AT&T stop renting hardwired phones. The requirement is that if I buy any random device capable of talking on their network, they must allow me to use it on their network... even if that device does things with their network they'd rather it not.

Re:Not a violation (2)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37830388)

You wouldn't happen to have a list of C-Band devices would you?

wholesale cheaper jerseys (0)

jersey123456 (2485408) | more than 2 years ago | (#37828754)

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Unacceptable (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37830378)

Block C should never have been sold. They should have charged for permission to build devices that communicate over 700hz and left the connectivity and use up to the public. Allowing ONE company to control a frequency is completely unacceptable!

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