Tethering Apps Blocked by Some US Cell Phone Carriers

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I read about this on Mashable this morning; apparently, some people who use Google Android OS smartphones are not able to download internet tethering applications from the Android Marketplace; specifically, those who use carriers T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, or AT&T.  All indications point to the carriers being to blame, not Google.

The applications are designed to allow people with Android mobiles to access the internet via their laptops using their cell phone wireless connection.  Most of the apps in question are free to users and include Wireless Tether, MyWi, and PDAnet.  This is in contrast to carrier-offered tethering, which costs from $15 to $25 per month, depending upon which carrier and what data package you have.

Obviously, the reason the carriers are blocking the apps is because they don’t want their customers getting something for free that they offer for a price.  This is just a small example of what will be happening to our desktop internet before too long if ISPs get their way.

The good news is that Sprint customers are not being blocked from free tethering applications.  The other good news is that, although your carrier may be blocking the apps, they cannot prevent you from running it once installed.  Therefore, the trick is to find a way to get the app from the internet to your phone.

According to the Mashable article, Google has said that it is not officially blocking the applications; however, they didn’t deny that the carriers are.  The question is, has Google willingly complied, has their hand been forced, or are carrier blocks circumventing Google altogether?