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Genachowski to investigate smartphone unlock ban

Smartphone fans around the country have been in an uproar ever since a ban was placed on a user's ability to unlock their own mobile phone on January 26. Apparently, the ban didn't put limits on carriers being able to unlock their devices, but individuals cracking their phone to operate on other networks was forbidden.

The FCC has now promised to investigate whether the ban is harmful to market competitiveness. The FCC also plans to see if the executive branch has the authority to change the law.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told TechCrunch, "[The] ban raises competition concerns; it raises innovation concerns."

Prior to the ban going into effect, customers were allowed to unlock their smartphones, allowing users to switch carriers and keep the device they had already purchased. Smartphones were exempted from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which has a provision placing a ban on the circumvention of copy protection schemes.
 
Now, smartphone owners who use unauthorized methods to unlock their devices open themselves up to potential legal penalty.

Genachowski said, "It’s something that we will look at at the FCC to see if we can and should enable consumers to use unlocked phones."

Source: TechCrunch





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