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FCC: Phone Unlocking Ban Raises Concerns

Article Comments  7  

Mar 1, 2013, 8:14 AM   by Eric M. Zeman
updated Mar 1, 2013, 12:36 PM

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski is uneasy about the recently-implemented ban against unlocking cell phones. Speaking to TechCrunch, he said the ban "raises competition concerns; it raises innovation concerns." Last year, the Library of Congress reversed an exemption built into the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that allowed consumers to unlock their cell phones. Most phones are sold locked to the carrier that sells it, which prevents them from being used on competing networks. The reversal went into effect in January, and it is now illegal to unlock cell phones. Genachowski said, "It's something that we will look at at the FCC to see if we can and should enable consumers to use unlocked phones." However, Genachowski warned that he's not sure what authority the FCC has in this particular case.



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Mar 1, 2013, 12:51 PM

just stupid

This whole thing is just plain stupid. When a carrier agrees to subsidize a phone, they are taking a risk to attract your business. So far, it's been a big win for them even if a handful of customers stuck it to them on a few devices. And it's not like refusing to fulfill your phone contract is without consequences. It impacts your credit and drives your interest rates up on everything. Also, you can only do this a few times before providers will refuse to offer you services. The financial difficulties and limitations to service options are enough of a deterrent to keep most people from royally sticking it to phone carriers and destroying their business model. So, this law does very little to protect any intrinsic interests the carrier has i...
Truer words were never spoken

Mar 1, 2013, 12:24 PM


As far as unlocking a phone, I think it should be allowed as long as the said customer fulfills his or her agreement with the particular carrier assuming they had some sort of contractual agreement. If you violate those terms you should not be allowed to unlock for a specific amount of time. That would be a bit more fair then what it is now... I have an unlocked Note 2 and I am glad I took the initiative to get this unlocked and over with before this stupid law came into place.

As far as a customer, there needs to be better education in terms of why the phones are locked and why using a unlocked phone on a different network other then the specific carrier it was made for would impact your service negatively and you would essentially be ...
I agree, finish the contract, or pay the ETF, and someone should be able to unlock their smartphone.

After all, it is physical property that is paid for, and belongs to the CONSUMER! Not the carrier, or the manufacturer.
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