Lawmakers Propose Bill to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking
March 8, 2013 10:53 AM
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The bill follows a promising response from the White House to a petition for cell phone unlocking
Well, that was fast: a bill to once again make it
legal for consumers to unlock their cell phones
was introduced yesterday, after the White House sided with a petition just earlier this week.
Democrats and Republicans alike have backed the new measure. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have joined Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) in pushing the Wireless Consumer Choice Act, which would make sure users have the option to unlock their cell phones and switch carriers if they please.
“Consumers who have purchased a mobile device, and aren’t bound by a service contract, should be able to use it on another network,” said Blumenthal. “This legislation is common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring healthy competition in the market.”
Earlier this week, the White House addressed
"It's Time to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking"
We the People
site. The petition collected 114,000+ signatures, and received a promising answer from the White House.
"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."
All Things D
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RE: This doesn't make sense
3/8/2013 1:29:12 PM
Phones are cheap. The companys get exclusive rights to sell the phones at an arbitrary figure that is high enough to force you to get a subsidized phone by signing a long term contract. If everyone could pay the $600 phone outright the companies will jack up the price until the consumer can't pay. As a business model it works in two ways. One, they get you to sign a long term contract with a ETF and they know they will make so much profit for the next two yrs or three if you live in Canada. Keeps you from switching if they give you shitty service. I've never signed a contract and I've never had the horror stories that I hear from the people on contracts. Any complaints on my bill are dealt with instantly because they know I will switch and I have done so in the past. I have two windows phones sitting here that make great mp3 players, quality of sound is decent. I would rather the industry get out of the sales of phones completely. I should be able to buy any phone at any Phone store, where the stores might compete on prices. As it is now the three majors in my area sell the phones at the same price, charge the same unlocking fee with or without a contract, have the same ETF's etc, competition at its best.
"This is about the Internet. Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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