Unlocking Your Smartphone May Become Legal In The US Soon


Apple iPhone 5S

Last year, it became illegal to unlock your device, but it seems things may change in the near future. Earlier this summer, the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act passed through the U.S. Senate.

Recently, the bill was passed through the House of Representatives which gives people and third-party cellular companies to unlock the device once it’s tied to a specific carrier.

Previously, only the carriers were allowed to unlock the device, and may charge users a decent amount of money or require users to pay the full unsubsidized price of the handset. The legislation also give users the ability to easily switch carriers easily, the main aim is so that users can unlock their devices once the contract is finished.

The House on Friday unanimously passed bipartisan legislation that would restore the ability of consumers to more easily transfer their cell phones to other wireless carriers, just one week after the Senate approved the same measure. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) coordinated with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) on the issue.  The lawmakers praised Congress’s action to pass the pro-consumer bill, which now goes to the White House for signature.

Now, all we have to wait for is for President Obama to sign the bill, which should be much of a problem. It’s also worth mentioning that it will not solve the problem permanently, but the rules will be revised next year, and then every three years from there.

Source: Patrick Leahy, TechnoBuffalo