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Obama signs bill "unlocking" cell phones

2014-08-04 09:15 by
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The President Obama has signed a bill into law that allows American citizens to legally unlock their phones. Known as the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, the law orders the Library of Congress to allow mobile phone owners to unlock their devices - typically tied, or "locked," to a specific service provider like Verizon or Sprint - and use them on competing networks.

"The bill Congress passed today is another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice so they can find a cell phone carrier that meets their needs and their budget," President Obama said in a statement last week.

"Our laws should not prohibit consumers from carrying their cellphones to a new network, and we should promote and protect competition in the wireless marketplace," said bill co-sponsor and Judiciary Committee chairman Senator Patrick Leahy.

It's been a bit of a journey to get to this point. About a year ago, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) filed a petition urging the FCC to make a ruling that would require carriers to unlock phones and tablets at the customer's request. And while most carriers have been mostly kind about unlocking devices, tools to for consumers to unlock those phones and tablets themselves were considered illegal.

Read more -here-

 

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