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It said it agrees with the 114,000+ people who signed the petition

The White House has responded to a petition that asks for cell phone unlocking to be legalized, and the Obama administration seems to think it's a good idea.

A petition on We the People called "It's Time to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking" collected over 114,000 signatures. When any petition on this site accumulates over 100,000 signatures, the White House is expected to respond to it -- and as promised, it has done so.

"The White House agrees with the 114,000+ of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties," said the official White House response.

"In fact, we believe the same principle should also apply to tablets, which are increasingly similar to smart phones. And if you have paid for your mobile device, and aren't bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network. It's common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring we continue to have the vibrant, competitive wireless market that delivers innovative products and solid service to meet consumers' needs."

The Obama administration further added that it would support various corrections to the situation, including new legislative rules in telecommunications stating that technological locks and/or criminal law can stop consumers from switching carriers when they're not bound by a contract.

The White House response added that the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will join the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in looking into the matter of cell phone unlocking.

The FCC said it would investigate the ban on cell phone unlocking last week. More specifically, it plans to investigate whether the ban is harmful to market competitiveness and whether the executive branch has the authority to change the law.

The White House made mention that mobile providers should "consider what steps they as businesses can take to ensure that their customers can fully reap the benefits and features they expect when purchasing their devices."

Source: The White House



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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By Mint on 3/5/2013 9:16:44 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
And I don't feel the government has any business telling companies how they have to make their products available to consumers.
If the companies are engaging in tactics to stifle competition, then yes, it is the governments business.

Collusion is illegal because companies can raise prices without the consequence of a competitor taking their business. Unlocking should be legal because without it companies keep prices artificially high without the consequence of a competitor taking the business of people with paid-off phones.
quote:
But I don't have a right to change the terms of an agreement after I've already agreed to it.
What terms are being changed? Every minute, text, and MB used on the company's network will be paid for. Every dollar will be paid for.


By FITCamaro on 3/5/2013 9:53:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Unlocking should be legal because without it companies keep prices artificially high without the consequence of a competitor taking the business of people with paid-off phones.


They had the option to buy an unlocked phone. They choose not to.

And companies only keep prices high because the public has proven to them that they're stupid enough to pay said prices.


By Mint on 3/6/2013 12:31:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
They had the option to buy an unlocked phone. They choose not to.
That's no justification for why, upon taking ownership of the phone, people shouldn't be able to do what they want with it.

quote:
And companies only keep prices high because the public has proven to them that they're stupid enough to pay said prices.
You're only stupid if you have a choice. Locking impedes the development of that choice.


"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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