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: As usual Dailtech article makes no sense
3/8/2013 1:55:42 PM
You are completely wrong on all fronts with your statement.
Carriers are not required to unlock phones for any reason they wish, even if the consumer has fully paid for it and their contract has already ended.
The bill states that as long as the consumer is not contractually bound, they should be able to get their phones unlocked. This does not make it so that the consumer can buy the phone with the plan and immediately unlock it since they are contractually bound to keep it on the network unless the contract is terminated.
RE: As usual Dailtech article makes no sense
3/8/2013 2:52:41 PM
Yeah, in a way it's too bad though because it used to be 90 days I believe before the carriers would allow unlocking, but I think it was still up to them. I am sure one reason the bill proposes the customer still be under contract or 'other obligation' is to prevent credit mules from buying phones on contract and selling unlocked phones right away. It's kind of too bad that language is in there, but it's understandable and most people should be ok with it...ideally there would be an option to unlock if you break your contract and pay an ETF, maybe that's ok under this law since you'd then no longer be under contract.
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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