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  • Bill Legalizing Cell Phone Unlocking Introduced in U.S. Senate


    In February, the White House petition initiated to undo the questionable policy change outlawing new cell phones from being unlocked reached its goal of securing 100,000 signatures, the threshold required to mandate a response from The White House.

    Earlier this week, the White House responded and it confirmed the Obama Administration's support for the legalization of cell phone unlocking.

    On Thursday, the effort gained even more momentum as U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Wireless Consumer Choice Act. Although it remains to be seen if this bipartisan senate bill will sail through to passage, not many obstacles are expected in the short term.

    "Consumers shouldn't have to fear criminal charges if they want to unlock their cell phones and switch carriers," Senator Lee stated this afternoon. "Enhanced competition among wireless services is the surest way to increase consumer welfare."

    "Consumers should have flexibility and choice when it comes to their wireless service and they deserve to keep and use cell phones they have already purchased," Senator Klobuchar added. "This legislation will help allow consumers to unlock their phones. I will continue to work with my colleagues to promote policies to meet the needs of consumers and boost competition."

    Source: PCMag
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Bill Legalizing Cell Phone Unlocking Introduced in U.S. Senate started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. King_O_Hill's Avatar
      King_O_Hill -
      Very nice!
    1. rockyseay's Avatar
      rockyseay -
      This is absolutely wonderful.
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      I just hope they understand that the unlocking needs to be available to anyone that is travelling overseas as well.
    1. tricked's Avatar
      tricked -
      This shouldn't be just a bill about Phones being unlocked or jailbroken, This should be about all devices that are owned by the consumer. If I want to buy a 2013 mustang and put on new pipes and headers and throw on a turbo and nos. That is legal. Yes it voids the warranty but why should I not be allowed to mess with my PlayStation or tablet or anything like that?
    1. King_O_Hill's Avatar
      King_O_Hill -
      That's a separate argument that is also underway!
    1. GenesisDH's Avatar
      GenesisDH -
      I haven't gotten into reading too much into this, they are only making the unlocking process legal, right? They aren't requiring devices to be unlocked.

      I think the latter would completely change the face of the wireless industry... finally.
    1. LoloBond's Avatar
      LoloBond -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
      I just hope they understand that the unlocking needs to be available to anyone that is travelling overseas as well.
      That's the only reason why I support this cause.. is BS that att wont allow you to use another carrier while overseas...
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      Well, it seems that Congress can be bipartisan about SOMETHING. Let's hope the concept spreads to other legislation as well.
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      Cool let's pass this then move on to that government proposal to provide free wi-fi to anyone in this country and real shove it up the cell phone companies bottoms.
    1. Feanor64's Avatar
      Feanor64 -
      this is great but im sorry man it just aint right if u sign a contract for a subsidized iphone then u should standby what u agreed to. u knew it wasnt unlocked when u signed that contract...this is gonna be the end of the 199 iphone...
    1. King_O_Hill's Avatar
      King_O_Hill -
      How do you figure? Verizon phones are unlocked and their still $199
    1. runey71's Avatar
      runey71 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Feanor64 View Post
      this is great but im sorry man it just aint right if u sign a contract for a subsidized iphone then u should standby what u agreed to. u knew it wasnt unlocked when u signed that contract...this is gonna be the end of the 199 iphone...
      It won't change phone subsidies. If you choose to unlock a phone and leave the carrier, whilst still under contract, then you are required to pay out the contract. The original carrier who subsidised the phone loses nothing. This is how it is done in Australia, and many other countries, and we still have heavily subsidised phones. Making unlocking legal, whilst under contract, would mean people can finally use their phone overseas without paying exorbitant roaming charges.
    1. markkievelli's Avatar
      markkievelli -
      Nice...