Last year, the Federal Communications Commission told Verizon Wireless that it had to stop blocking applications that let cellular customers use their phones as mobile hotspots. Verizon could still require extra payments for tethering from customers with grandfathered unlimited data plans, but the FCC said that consumers with capped plans should be able to use their limited data however they like.
I did a little fist pump when I heard the news. I've had an unlimited data plan for years but knew I might give that up to get my next phone at the subsidized rate and save $450. The time finally came when Apple unveiled the iPhone 5S, which has now replaced my trusty old iPhone 4, which itself replaced my first smartphone, a Motorola Droid.
Although I had to give up my grandfathered unlimited data in order to get a subsidized iPhone 5S, I didn't have to give up my grandfathered pricing. I'm still paying $75 a month (plus $5 or so in taxes and surcharges) for 450 voice minutes, 250 texts, and 2GB of data. Interestingly, I was only able to keep this more favorable pricing by purchasing my phone through Apple's online store. Attempting to upgrade my phone on Verizon's website would have forced me to pay at least $100 a month.