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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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By NellyFromMA on 3/5/2013 1:29:47 PM , Rating: 2
Except for the fact that you could also turn around and sell the phone for profit while it's new which that carrier decided it wouldn't. I think unlocking on contract is being a touch too greedy on this one.

If you buy it full price or you finish your contract you should be free to unlock.

The truth is, the subsidized phone model is effing stupid for all of these reasons.

It's another finance American's really shouldn't make. If you want the phone, buy it. I did and its working GREAT for me.

All the BS of the contract and subsidized phone is really just a consumer trap. Big surprise, I'm sure.

Saying you can buy the phone subsidized and potentially turn around and sell it for profit while on contract is just all consumer is just ignoring practicality kind of in the same light that the telco's are. Two wrongs and what not.


By augiem on 3/5/2013 3:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
Problem is, consumers are not intelligent enough to realize this.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014241278873232...

Leap wireless can't sell enough iPhones to meet their contractual obligations. Why? They have to charge full price for the phones. Nevermind you probably save several hundred dollars over the 2 years vs AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc.

Consumers in general have to be tricked out of their money. It's tried and true and it works. Just look at the rise of freemium games. People on average pay more per year to play Farmville or Restaurant City than they do any AAA blockbuster title.


By CZroe on 3/9/2013 10:39:21 PM , Rating: 2
It shouldn't matter. It's a SERVICE contract that you are obligated to pay for regardless of what phone you use with it. If I am eligible for an upgrade but am perfectly fine with the phone and contract terms I have, I may renew my contract specifically to unlock and sell a new phone while continuing my obligation with my old phone. See? The phone should not be held hostage when the agreement obligates you either way. It's leverage and it should not be.


"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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