Tech Rampage

US – House legalizes Phone Unlocking but there is a Catch

US – House legalizes Phone Unlocking but there is a Catch

February 26
08:30 2014

unlock phone bill passes house of repsThe US House of Representatives has finally passed the “Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition act ” which paves the way for users to unlock their phones and move them to a new carrier at the end of their contract. This is something most of the rest of the western world take for granted but it is something that is taking a frustratingly long time to get right in the USA.

However, there is a catch: a late amendment to the bill has excluded bulk unlocking. These late amendments are something that is all too common in the US congressional system. This road blocks companies that import and bulk unlock phones and sell direct to the consumer. A shame as this would have finally made the US phone market open..

This change to the legislation has watered down what could have been a revolutionary change in the US phone market. Jared Polis, a Democratic member of the House of Representatives, was quoted as saying, “There needs to be a market in unlocked phones” and that the changes are a “poison pill”.

The bill now has to go to the Senate. There is hope that the senate will be able to pull back some of these consumer unfriendly changes.

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2 Comments

  1. JQBoston
    JQBoston February 26, 13:18

    It’s curious how the left often decries deregulation until it’s something they want deregulated.

    Reply to this comment
    • flash
      flash February 27, 00:16

      Jqboston’s comment is curious. Maybe he means that a mysterious “left” is pushing to deregulate something. This article describes potential regulations forcing major telecom companies to compete by lowering cost barriers to a consumer’s choice of carrier. There’s no deregulation being considered here.

      Reply to this comment

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