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Rogers and Fido to Keep iPhone Tethering Free (with some Caveats)

iPhone 3.0: Tethering Hero

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Rogers (and subsidiary Fido) announced today via their RedBoard blog that the initial free tethering promotion for the iPhone would become the official policy going forward -- free tethering for everyone. Almost.

Effective immediately, tethering will continue to be included at no additional charge for Rogers and Fido customers who subscribe to data plans of 1 GB and above (excluding those listed below).

"Those listed below" are:

Tethering cannot be used with data plans of less than 1 GB. Also, it cannot be used with the new 1 GB+ One Rate Roaming plans (except Rocket stick plans), Family Shared Data & Voice Plans and Smartphone & Rocket stick shared data plans.

Complaints are already piling up about some of those exclusion in the blog comments, of course.

This policy also applies to BlackBerry, Android (if supported by the OS), and all other smartphones with qualifying data plans.

Since I was posting via iPhone Bluetooth tether from a local coffee shop yesterday, I for one appreciate and will make good use of it. However, our frigid Canadian hearts go out to our US friends who, 9 months later, still haven't heard word one from AT&T about official iPhone tethering...

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Telus and Bell have had tethering included in their iPhone plans since they released the phone. Believe it works on other phones as well. Just eats into your data cap, just like Rogers unless I'm mistaken and Rogers gives you unlimited tethering for some reason.
  • At this point I kind of have given up on tethering with AT&T. I have mobile data through verizon, and that seems to fill all my needs.
  • As I have a 6GB plan, this works fine for me. No matter what Rogers could have done someone would have complained. At least we have the option to tether in Canada, we should be thankful for that.
  • Blake, yes, the amount comes out of your data plan. For those of us with 6GB plans, it's no big deal.
    The Rogers announcement isn't perfect but it's still pretty good. I really was expecting them to start charging a fee for tethering access.
  • So... I have a 6 GIG data plan. but I have a shared family voice plan with my husband (but not shared data.)
    Uh... does that mean I get in on this or not? Confused.
  • Jenny: I have the same setup, and yes, you do get tethering. It's tied to your data plan, not your voice plan.
  • I jailbreak, therefore I am...
  • Tethering works very well on the iPhone 3GS, and over the AT&T network all over Los Angeles. It's actually not that easy to rack up 5GB of data, unless you download torrents or stream your SlingBox for hours on end. The most I've tethered in any given month was between 1 and 2GB.
    HSPA 7.2 is also alive and well. In some areas, I've pulled down data at the rate of 4-4.5Mbps.
  • Time For Me To Upgrade!!!!! 1GB here I come
  • Glad I have my 6 GB plan :)
  • PPL from the states should not complain because us Canadians pay double for what they pay on our phone bills.
    One example, $30 data plan here is 6gig bandwith. States has it unlimited.
  • @CJ: You'd be doing well to rack up 6GB purely on your iPhone every month. I only use 250MB per month on my iPhone and cannot use my 'unlimited' AT&T plan for tethering.
    I would gladly trade 'unlimited' for 6GB or even 3GB for the same price but be able to tether and use it how I want for the occasions when we're away from home with laptops in tow or the rare event of our cable internet going down.
    In the US it's typically $60 a month and a 2 year contract for a data card or MIFI device and I simply cannot justify that for the few occasions that we'd use it.
  • Great way to get users to pony up to A more expensive plan
  • Update: Upgraded to 1GB Fido Rep. Said Tethering is now officially free, when I told him j have an iPhone :)
    @CJ I now pay $30/1GB
    @MrC I normally burn 450-500mb a month
  • Very easy, U.S. folks:
    1) Nab a copy of BlackRa1n from
    2) Once you've run it and have a jailbroken iPhone (5 minutes later)...
    3) Use the Cydia app (installed by Blackra1n) to search for an install PDANet
    4) Try PDANet for 14 days and see if it works for you. If so, then pay $30 to keep using it.
    No this is not an ad. I'm just a satisfied PDANet user who enjoys tethering whenever he wants to anywhere in the U.S.
    Downside: If you tether in an area where AT&T does not have coverage, you may get a little message from them that you're excessively roaming. But that's an AT&T problem, not yours. Unless you live there. Then it's a problem. The AT&T logo in the upper left of your iPhone lies until you exceed your roaming and then AT&T sends an update to your phone to tell you when you're roaming. Don't tether when you are or they'll eventually cancel your contract.
  • YAY. This is why I love Rogers. I love tethering on the go. Makes it so easy to get internet anywhere. When i'm not with my iMac at home, my MacBook pro has Internet virtually anywhere. Thank you Rogers. Now. If they could just do something about those damn roaming rates.....
  • Ah, tethering. Hey Americans, April 3 is a perfect day for y'all to be jailbreaking your iPhone if you haven't already. Just sayin. Mr. Jobs, please don't sue me. Have a nice day :)
  • @JKT Registered PdaNet user over here. I was browsing Rock the other day and some reviewers said MiWi is faster and better mimics the native iPhone tethering... any thoughts?
  • @MRC I live 20min away from Detroit. Detroit is north from where I live and it is like my hometown. My causin who lives in detroit pays $70 monthly bill and has unlimited min, txt, mms, data, and has all services AT&T offers. I pay $76 and get 150min, free roaming with detroit, weekends and after 6 free, 125 txt/mms, 6gig data. I don't know but smth is not right in here. And trust me I have a great plan. I get $20 deducted from my bill from being a loyal Rogers customer for 10 years and having no late payments ever. So for my plan one would pay $96. So u tell me who should be happy with their phone bills. U or me? Plus I don't need tethering. I'm not one of those ppl using a laptop all the time. My laptop collects dust at home.
  • I don't understand why everyone is so happy over tethering. Have we all forgotten that we are about the only ones on the entire globe that have been scammed into signing up for three years when everyone else does two?!
    Allowing for tethering doesn't cost them anything. We are paying for the data anyway. What's the difference whether we consume the bits on a laptop or on the iphone? Yes, I agree that it's convenient, but making Rogers and/or Fido out to be saints because they allow us to tether is a bit too much for my taste.
    I still have my original 3G and still have over a year left to go to fulfill my 3 year commitment. This makes it either impossible or very expensive to upgrade to a new model.
  • I enjoy, cause I discovered exactly what I was looking for. You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye