The iPhone’s official UK carrier O2 have kicked up a fuss at the fact somebody has managed to find a workaround for the iPhone 3.0 firmware’s tether option, enabling users to get the service for free instead of paying their ridiculous prices. They have said that they will disconnect or charge the offenders which choose this route over getting the official bolt on package.

Internet rumours suggest that some customers have modified their iPhone to enable Internet Tethering without the purchase of the Internet Tethering Bolt On. Any use of this particular feature without the purchase of the Bolt on is specifically prohibited under our terms of service.

Under those terms we reserve the right to charge customers making modem use of their iPhone or disconnect them. If customers wish to use the Internet Tethering feature on their iPhone 3G or iPhone 3G S, we recommend taking the Bolt On which is available from Friday 19 June.

I’m not 100% sure how they would manage to distinguish regular iPhone data usage and that which has come via a tethered connection, but I’m sure over time we will find out when somebody tries to download a BluRay movie rip and gets screwed over it.

My iPhone was jailbroken before 3.0, and I had a tether app which I used to use in the car and on the train to check my email and general light browsing around the web. I never really abused the fact that I could do it by downloading massive files this way. Nothing really would have peaked for them in my data usage. I did ‘however’ maybe abuse the fact that I had changed some settings so I wasn’t limited to downloading 10MB files at a maximum from the App store. I have an ‘unlimited’ data allowance after all so I never really saw it as a problem.

How is me downloading some games over the air different to me sitting watching YouTube videos all day, and what is someone with a tethered connection really going to be doing with it that O2 seem to think is going to massively increase data usage across their network? You’re still limited to the same speed you can get on your iPhone right?

O2’s tether prices are still far too high if you do want to take the legal route, but Ofcom wants to hear from you, and if enough people complain they will be forced to do something about it. Read about it on bitterwallet and make that call if you’re in the UK.

Quick note. Adding the tether hack seems to change your data settings to ‘wap.o2.co.uk’ instead of ‘idata.o2.co.uk’. Maybe they can hunt you out this way?

I don’t know what this is like on other supported networks, but be warned.