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Clarifications On Rogers/Fido iPhone Tethering

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As many have read our article regarding the Tethering policies for Rogers and Fido, one of the most talked about points is that Rogers/Fido plan to offer Tethering access for free to accounts that have 1GB or higher data plans (using your data bucket) up until December 31, 2009…but what then?

Well, lets refresh our memories by reading the Rogers and Fido tethering policies:

Rogers Tethering Policy

Tethering is the use of your phone as a wireless modem to connect to the Internet from your computer. For a limited time, if you subscribe to a data option which includes at least 1GB of data transmission between June 8,2009 and December 31, 2009, you may use tethering as part of the volume of data included in your option at no additional charge. Tethering cannot be used with data options of less than 1GB.

Fido Tethering Policy

Tethering or wireless modem functionality is the use of your phone (such as your iPhone) as a wireless modem to connect to the internet from your computer. You can connect your phone to your computer through Bluetooth wireless technology or the USB cable provided with your phone.

To use tethering or wireless modem functionality you require the new iPhone 3GS, or an iPhone 3G that has been upgraded with the new iPhone OS 3.0 software. Until December 31, 2009, if you have subscribed to a Data add-on which includes at least 1GB of data you may use tethering as part of the volume of data included in your add-on at no additional charge. Tethering cannot be used with Data add-on of less then 1GB.

What Does This Mean?

To translate, this means that you have tethering access on your account enabled for free so long as your meet the following requirements:

  • Have Rogers/Fido cellular service
  • Have a 1GB or higher data plan (1GB, 3GB, 5GB, 6GB, etc)

The amount that users tether with their iPhone will be taken off of their 1GB or higher data plan. For example, if you have a 1GB data plan and tether 500MB worth of data, you are now left with 500MB in your data bucket for the month.

However, this free access to tethering will only be available until December 31, 2009. But what happens after that date?

Note: If you are a Rogers/Fido customer and have a 1GB or higher data plan and your tetheing is NOT currently working, to enable it, do the following on your iPhone:

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap General
  • Tap Network
  • Tap “Setup Internet Tethering”

If the option is not available, contact your wireless provider.

What Happens To My Tethering After December 31 2009?

Many readers have stated that Rogers/Fido are likely to begin to charge for tethering access and those readers are probably 100% correct (consider Rogers raising roaming rates and then conveniently releasing roaming add-ons).

Listed below is the FAQ from Rogers and Fido on what will occur to tethering after December 31 2009:

Rogers

What will happen on December 31, 2009 when the promotion expires?

  • Your tethering service will end, and you will not be able to tether until you contact us to add a new tethering plan.

Fido

What will happen on December 31, 2009 when the promotion expires?

  • Fido will continue to enable tethering on devices that allow it, but Data add-ons will be adjusted to better reflect the way customers are using tethering services.

Well there you have it. It is subtle, but both Rogers and Fido will likely be making specific “Tethering Plans” available for users. I personally like how Fido sugarcoats it, but it will still end up in a higher monthly bill.

Rogers/Fido customers can expect Tethering add-ons to range from $5 – $15 extra per month. Happy New Year’s from Rogers & Fido 🙂

Telus & Bell?

By comparison, Telus includes tethering access for free with all of their iPhone Combo Plans. This is essentially the same as what Rogers and Fido are currently doing but at this time it is unknown whether Telus will remove tethering access in January 2010.

Bell on the other hand does not advertise tethering access for any of their consumer iPhone plans. Oddly enough though, the Bell iPhone plans for business, which are identical to the consumer ones, do have tethering enabled for free. Once again, it is unknown at this time whether Bell will remove tethering access in January 2010.

4 carriers

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  • BellUser

    I have an iPhone from Bell and am on the $75 ($80 now) plan, and tethering is very much an option for me. I haven't used it yet, I have no need to, but from what I hear, Bell's website has yet to mention the tethering for some reason, but in store brochures mention that all plans include tethering.

  • montymon

    I have the Rogers 6GB data plan specifically to make use of tethering. Will this mean an extra plan just to continue having the data charged to my current 6GB limit or a new [and presumably still limited] data plan just for tethering data?

    Between two iPhones, Cable, HD and HD speciality channels Rogers is already getting well over $400/month from me, when does it stop?

  • jailbreaking iphone should able to bypass this tethering block? no?

  • dudemaster

    Wouldn't this mean that Dodgers aka Robbers are changing the terms of the Data Plan. According to my contract I am allowed to use up to 6GB of data every month on my iPhone. By tethering I am still using my iPhone and that device is pulling up the Data for use….

    Did even the people in Robbers pocket (the CRTC) say that they cannot change terms of the Voice and Data plans? Breech of contract!!

  • Will

    Bell is advertising tethering in their iPhone brochure as part of your data plan.

  • Andre

    Does Fido's page really say “less then 1GB”? They need some grammar police.

    If I was seriously using tethering on my Rogers phone (I'm not yet), I would simply cancel and move to Bell. Something tells me they will change this.

    I will not pay for my data twice.

  • speed2bump

    Jailbrake your phone and tether away no problems…. you pay for 6GbB of data and it's your right to use it the way you want. Imagine buying a car with a stipulation that you can only drive it to get groceries, if you want to drive to your friends house than you have to pay another 15% of the cost of the car, ahhh and if you want to drive to work you will have to pay extra 30% for your car!

    Absolutely ludicrous !!!

    Again However many GB of data you purchased means that you can send and receive that many 1's and 0's across the net.

  • RogersUser

    Does this apply to existing plans prior to the June 2009 date as well? I thought that these plans would be exempt from the end-of-tethering Dec 31st?

  • Dusty

    Not much of a Tethering guy but crappy news for them Tethering dudes!

  • roadcarver

    I have a 6GB data plan which was carried over when I had a Palm Treo 750 to the Iphone 3G. Prior to the 3.1.2 OS update, tethernig was enabled, after the 3.1.2 update, it was disabled… what gives Robbers?? Anyway I worked around the issue via the jb/mywi option. Not sure if after Dec31/09 whether Robbers will start billing me.

    I don't know why Robbers would even think of charging extra $$ for Tethering? Let us use the 6GB that we have, and if we go over it, bill us for it, plain, simple and fair!

  • ltj

    I'm presently running the benm tethering hack APN on 3.0.1. I've resisted going to 3.1.2 until a new APN is available (his website has said “soon” for weeks now).

    Does anyone know if this config is OK after Rogers starts to charge for tethering?

  • Carl

    I was told by a rep over a month or two ago that we would keep the tethering if we had over 1GB of Data.

  • rorypiper

    When I originally heard about this, I took it to mean that if you signed up for a data plan greater than 1GB, between June and the end of 2009, you would have tethering enabled for the duration of your contract, and then if you sign up AFTER Dec 31, 2009, you will be charged the extra tethering fee.

    Can they really change our contract, after we've signed a 3 year agreement? I use tethering quite a bit, with the 6GB plan. I don't see why I should have to pay more, to use the same data.

  • Andre

    Is tethering specifically part of your 3 year contract? I don't remember seeing anything about it in mine, but I may have missed it.

    If it's in there, a contract is a contract.

  • Flaxx

    that is exactly why i'm still on firmware v3.01 and haven't upgraded. i want to see what happens in 2010. I'm sure it'll be a matter of time before tethering is working on 3.12 if it isn't already. I just want to be guaranteed that i'll have access to my 6gb of data because lets face it, over 99% of iphone users don't use more than 500mb/month of data from the iphone itself.

  • Correct. 6GB data plan will be different from a Tethering plan

  • Possibly

  • It's not a breach. This is their Tethering Policy. When the contract was signed, you agreed to this policy via the signature or verbal consent.

  • Yes, Fido cannot spell.

  • Unknown but very likely to affect all data customers

  • I guess we'll find out on your first invoice in February 2010

  • Keep it until December 31 2009.

  • Unfortuntately they can modify the terms since this Tethering Policy is a part of that data contract

  • I don't have to imagine, that is exactly how ICBC insurance works.

  • dudemaster

    No – I didn't agree to a Tethering Policy when I signed my contract in August 2008. There was no mention of tethering. They cannot charge me for the same Data twice. I will use that section where I can Dispute and leave Rogers without penalty – I will take my cell phone, Cable, and my HD PVR business elsewhere.

  • dudemaster

    No – I didn't agree to a Tethering Policy when I signed my contract in August 2008. There was no mention of tethering. They cannot charge me for the same Data twice. I will use that section where I can Dispute and leave Rogers without penalty – I will take my Cable and my HD PVR business elsewhere.

  • An excellent idea!

  • rorypiper

    Well, at least there's always PDANet! 😉

  • Ian R

    I find the wording used in the tethering policy on the Rogers site to be intentionally ambiguous. It could either mean that a) users who signed up for a data plan >= 1GB before Dec 31st 2009 will keep their free tethering, or b) Anyone with a >= 1GB plan will be able to use tethering for free until Dec 31st 2009.

    I also think it's shady how they charge an extra $10 for VPN tethering. My whole purpose for signing up for a data plan was so I could VPN into my company network and work remotely regardless of whether Wi-fi is available or not.

    So, unless Rogers comes out with a reasonably priced 1GB+ data plan that includes tethering and VPN after Jan 2010 I will be riding out the last year of my contract and going with the competition. I have been with Rogers for many years (6+ years) on account of having little alternative. It seems Bell and Telus have finally caught up and offer tempting alternatives to which I am perfectly willing to switch if Rogers keeps up this ridiculous game of theirs.

  • Andre

    I have sent the following Tweet to @RogersHelps – I suggest everyone do the same. So far they haven't answered. Maybe if they get a whole bunch of them they will be forced to reply.

    @RogersHelps – if I tether iPhone after Dec., will Rogers charge me for my data twice? Tell me now so I can save up my ECF, and switch->Bell

  • alimk

    im currently running 3.1.2 and have a 500 mb plan, you have to get the mms/tethering hack from the sinful iphone repo and then apply the benm tethering apn. works great 🙂

  • What. A. Load. Of. Crap.

  • Andre

    They replied:
    “Hi Andre, thanks for your feedback. We're still considering options so I'll be sure to share your feedback with the team.”

    I replied back:
    “@RogersHelps Thanks, but do you really not know what you're doing 1 month from now? Hard to believe.”

  • Andre

    It just occurred to me… if I sell my Rogers iPhone, that should cover the cost of the ECF. Then I just start over with Bell.

  • I'm with you on this one. From what I grasped from the original “correction” earlier this year, that if you had a data plan on or before December 21st, 2009, that in 2010 when tethering charges get applied, that you'd be able to use your data plan without having to pay extra for tethering service.

    I use tethering quite a bit actually. Whenever I have my laptop out and about, and I need internets, I'll just use my phone because it works, and quite well too. lol

    Apparently this change says differently. Anyone that has a plan 1gb and over will STILL have to pay extra for tethering come the new year.

    I would like to see Rogers try and change the terms of my contract on me like this. I'll be out of here with my iPhone so quickly and they won't see a dime from me.

  • Lee

    You people are so in love with Rogers, why would you even write that part about Telus hasn't made any plans yet about what will happen in January 2010. Why would anything happen in January 2010? Because Rogers and Fido are ending Tethering what does that have to do with Telus? Reading this makes it sound like it's all equal play, but why can't the article be written saying those using Telus get to enjoy tethering with their plans and will continue to be able to in January unlike Rogers…

  • Because in Canada, when one carrier does something, the others follow. Its
    all about imitation, not innovation.

  • Dude, wtf?

  • Lee

    No, that's more like the attitude of someone stuck in a Rogers 3 year agreement because they couldn't wait long enough for Telus and Bell to launch HSPA and have to nit pick at everything now.

  • JMCD23

    What about charing for incoming text? The big 3 do now. What about eliminating the SAF and adding some other lame fee, they all have now. It wouldn't surprise me to see bell/telus to do the same as rogers/fido. Anyways, jailbreaking will get around this no problem.

  • So are you stuck with a carrier?
    I know i'm not and I gave two iphones: telus and Rogers!

  • nosnoop

    Sure, you can wait till now to get the iPhone. Only to find that Bell/Telus does not offer any extra or anything better than Rogers/Fido.
    Worse still, any iPhone available now can no longer be jailbroken untethered!
    Real smart move, right?

    With a jailbroken phone, who cares whether they would charge for tethering or not. You can use your data anyway you want.

  • nosnoop

    Sure, you can wait till now to get the iPhone. Only to find that Bell/Telus does not offer any extra or anything better than Rogers/Fido.
    Worse still, any iPhone available now can no longer be jailbroken untethered!
    Real smart move, right?

    With a jailbroken phone, who cares whether they would charge for tethering or not. You can use your data anyway you want.

  • Lee

    I'm not going to jailbreak if it means having to plug into my PC every time I restart my phone. And as for eliminating the system access fee then adding new ones, only Rogers has done that with their BS Government recovery fee. Yeah Telus and Bell upped the rateplans, but at least it's not some totally fake service fee. I don't know how they can get away with saying itsa government fee when it clearly has nothing to do with the government at all.

  • hank

    … there's a whole bunch of us here. and more silent-type readers out there. and some chatters who are not willing to take real action. it would be great for us all to unite, make a peaceful, orderly and civilized mass protest. lets take this to the media of different sorts and even better, the streets!!….. but, whose with me?

  • steve

    we live in canada. media outlets dont care about canada.

    i have a 6gb dataplan with my iphone, since 2008, and i really wouldnt be happy if i suddenly had to pay for tethering. its the only reason i went with the iphone and rogers — cheap data tethering. i barely use it, but its vital when i do, so… no cheap tethering = time to move on.

  • Stuart

    I have contacted Rogers via email. I suspect that I will hear from them after December 31, 2009.

    Here is my email:

    “According to your website, Roger$ includes tethering on data plans > 1GB (I have the 6GB plan) until December 31, 2009.

    As of now, that is two weeks away. Please let me know what the tethering policy will be like after December 31, 2009.

    I would like to know before I get charged twice for using the data I am already paying for so that I can make plans to move to Bell or someone else that includes tethering in their plans.

    I expect to get the requested policy information in your reply. I can't imagine that your company has not decided what it is doing two weeks from now.”

  • Andre

    I asked Rogers again on Twitter – with 2 weeks to go, they should be able to tell us what's up. Reply was “Still nothing to report”…”We will definitely let customers know”.

    What kind of company doesn't know what they will be doing in 2 weeks?

    I keep seeing other tweets form people asking them questions about various things, like firmware upgrades for other phones, or when will Rogers be offering xxx, etc. Rogers seems to consistently not be open about anything. Either they say “it's not our policy to discuss xxx”, or “I can't discuss upgrades before…” etc.

    What kind of company won't discuss things with their paying customers? Look at their Twitter feeds – they're full of answers like these. Their on-line presence was supposed to make them look good. It just makes them look ridiculous.

    I'm seriously considering cancelling, selling my iPhone to cover the ECF, then start all over with Bell or Telus.

    I suggest that everyone send them tweets to register their displeasure. Be sure to include #rogers in your tweet so everyone can find them all.

  • montymon

    I just received my bill covering the period 02 Dec – 01 Jan and it shows no change regarding tethering. It shows a “Tethering Access” charge of $0.00 for the entire period. If they were discontinuing free tethering effective 31 December, this bill would have to indicate the change, even if only for the one day of my billing cycle.

    When I ordered the 3GS as my second iPhone on my account I asked that both phones be set up with the $30/6G monthly plan and asked if tethering would continue to be charged to my 6G cap even after 31 December and was told yes. It appears, based on this bill, that that will be the case.

    I'd be interested to hear if anyone has any changes reflected on bills that extend into the new year.

  • What I think is going to happen is you won't be charged for tethering
    right now but as of January 1, 2010, you simply will no longer have
    access to tethering on your iPhone.

    That's where the new tethering plans enter.

    So your bill is correct right now, but the true test will be if you
    can still tether in 2010 with your current data set up.

  • montymon

    If it changes, Rogers will certainly get an earful from me. Likely a cancellation of my $400+/month account if they change what was promised.

  • Hi Andre –

    I wanted to respond to your comments about tethering. As part of the @RogersHelps team, I'm committed to improving the overall customer experience and to answering as many questions as I can as transparently as I can. There are times when I can't provide an answer right away – maybe because of confidentiality agreements – maybe because of competitive reasons – maybe because we haven't finalized a decision yet. When I can't answer, I try to be open about that. While we can't help all customers all of the time, most customers we have worked with say they have benefited from our assistance.

    When it comes to tethering, we are still reviewing our options and we are listening to customer feedback. I've personally committed to informing our customers via Twitter and in blogs/forums as soon as we can announce the details.

    Thanks,
    Mary

  • lol

  • Andre

    Mary, it's great for you to come here and reply, and I appreciate your efforts. You obviously cannot help Rogers' position on things, but you are certainly in a better position to get a point across to them than we the paying customers obviously are.

    Rogers has had months to sort this tethering thing out. It is now about two weeks from the “deadline” they set for themselves and told to us about for, well… something.

    If Rogers is really two weeks away from this and has no decision, then they need to extend this deadline, or say something about it. Rogers is a big company who, I'm sure has all of their ducks lined up. I suspect they do, and they're just clueless about informing their paying customers – their bread and butter, who are just a bunch of potential dollar signs to them.

    Rogers has put this item on our bills called Tethering Access. We have seen a date of December 31st when something will change. There is obviously something up that may affect your paying customers – whether it will impact us financially or not, you're not telling us.

    All we know is that it has been implied that Rogers will possibly charge us for our data use twice after Dec 31. The competition seems to be not charging for tethering.

    Why is it December 15th and Rogers cannot give us an answer that will clarify this once and for all.

    I simply do not believe that an organization like Rogers has not made up their mind on this. Hesitating on informing us just makes the company look worse.

    My point is just about Rogers making a decision. This doesn't even address how ridiculous it would be to somehow have an additional charge for something we have already paid for. It would be kind of like charging us for calling certain friends and talking a little faster or more loudly, even though we're already paying for voice access.

    Thank you,
    Andre

  • grumbler

    It's fairly obvious what's going on here. Rogers is waiting to hear how loudly we're squawking about it.

    In other words, can they charge us another fee and get away with it.

    I for one am paying $30 for a data plan that I am not even using 10% of. If I decide to tether and actually use the data I am paying for, then Rogers had better not think they can charge me ANOTHER fee to use that same data I'm already paying for.

    Can you say class-action suit? I'd be glad to lead that. I'm not afraid of a big company like Rogers. I'll bet I can find a team of lawyers ready to grab that court case.

    There, I've squawked. Want to see me really squawk? Try charging me twice for the same data plan. I may not win, but I guarantee it will be bad publicity for the Rogers giant. I will take you on if I have to.

    Anybody with me?

  • Dear Mary,

    You're saying that Rogers hasn't decided yet? Why keep us in the dark
    till the last minute? So you can release new plans to confuse us all
    again?

    We are already paying for a data plan. Why would Rogers charge us to
    use it via tethering? Data is data.

    Its policies like this, keeping us in the dark that makes people
    excited about start ups like WIND. We are all not afraid to pay
    cancellation fees to leave Rogers.

  • ^^ditto

  • V97Weezer

    Aren't we paying you enough? You charge us for voice. You charge us for data. You now make 30¢ on every text message – you hose the sender for 15¢, then you hose the person receiving the very same message another 15¢. You charge a “government” fee that isn't anything to do with the government. Oh, and you charge us to know who's calling – to display the number that you're broadcasting anyways. I bet you're working on a way to charge for touch-tone. Now you want to charge again for the same data?

    You know if you squeeze the toothpaste tube enough, you will get almost the last drop. If you keep squeezing hard enough after you got just about all of it, you will eventually cut yourself. Rogers probably has very bloody hands already.

  • andrez1

    @RogersBuzz is reporting on Twitter that they'll have good news to announce next week. Maybe they've come to their senses!

  • Grumbler

    Just a warning about Bell and tethering. Only the very few plans that have iPhone in the name support tethering. If you get another smartphone plan for the iPhone, tethering is not included, and if you use it, you will be charged by the Kb.

    I switched from Rogers to Bell, and got one of their Smartphone Combo plans. I made sure to ask the guy in the Bell store if tethering was included, and he said yes. When I got home and read the fine print, it said it was not. I called Bell to whine about it, and they said that yes, only certain plans include tethering.

    My only recourse is to switch plans, which I won't do, as I otherwise like my plan. Tethering's not a big deal for me, so I'll drop the issue. I just thought I'd post a warning for others. A friend of mine also got shafted the same way, and didn't know until I told him.

    On a brighter note, the reception on Bell's network is way clearer, and their data network is clearly faster.

  • Grumbler

    Just a warning about Bell and tethering. Only the very few plans that have iPhone in the name support tethering. If you get another smartphone plan for the iPhone, tethering is not included, and if you use it, you will be charged by the Kb.

    I switched from Rogers to Bell, and got one of their Smartphone Combo plans. I made sure to ask the guy in the Bell store if tethering was included, and he said yes. When I got home and read the fine print, it said it was not. I called Bell to whine about it, and they said that yes, only certain plans include tethering.

    My only recourse is to switch plans, which I won't do, as I otherwise like my plan. Tethering's not a big deal for me, so I'll drop the issue. I just thought I'd post a warning for others. A friend of mine also got shafted the same way, and didn't know until I told him.

    On a brighter note, the reception on Bell's network is way clearer, and their data network is clearly faster.

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