Congress Passes New Bill that Allows Phone Unlocking


Editor in Chief
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Dec 30, 2010
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Austin, TX

It's easy to assume Congress never gets anything accomplished. It seems like they are constantly gridlocked, fighting about partisan politics instead of accomplishing anything meaningful. Still, on rare occasions that proves untrue and something cool happens.

Here's a case in point: Congress just passed a new bill which will make it legal for users to unlock their phones. It's called the "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act," and it aims to do exactly what it sounds like. For now, it simply directs the Library of Congress to let consumers and third-parties legally unlock phones which were received through their carrier.

Here's a quote with a few more of the details,

Today's legislation will not permanently allow legal phone unlocking, however. The rule will be reconsidered by the Library of Congress once again in 2015 and every three years thereafter unless circumstances should change. It appears unlikely that unlocking will be banned again next year given the wide support for it, but there may be a continued struggle for its legalization in the future.

"The cell phone unlocking bill has a direct impact on Americans as we become more reliant on our wireless devices," Senate ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) says in a statement. "This bipartisan bill is pro-consumer and pro-competition and allows for greater ease in the portability of devices. It will provide greater competition and more consumer choice."

I think I will be on the lookout for flying pigs on my way home from work today... o_O


Thanks for the tip, Quicksilver7714!

Source: The Verge
While this is good news in the sense that the govt isn't going to try to deter people from unlocking their phone, the bill doesn't say anything about forcing wireless companies to make their devices unlockable which is what would really make a difference (especially for Verizon customers).
Yeah, chief. Another thing that it doesn't prevent is the foolishness that VZW does by preventing the activation of phones that can work on their network. Just because your phone is unlocked and can work on their network they don't have to let you use it on their network.
Or if they (carriers) allow it, they might use this as an excuse to make an extra charge to your bill if you do..