FCC to Investigate Ban on Unlocking Cell Phones
The FCC will investigate the recent decision by the Library of Congress to make unlocking cell phones illegal, reports TechCrunch. The commission will examine if the ban is harmful to economic competitiveness and if they have the authority to change the law.
The “ban raises competition concerns; it raises innovation concerns,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski told TechCrunch's Gregory Ferenstein.
Until earlier this year, individuals were free to unlock their smartphone. Unfortunately, unlocking was only allowed as an exemption from Digital Millennium Copyright Act and upon review the Library of Congress decided to remove the exemption.
Genachowski isn’t sure what authority he has, but if he finds any, given the tone of the conversation, it’s likely he will exert his influence to reverse the decision.
“It’s something that we will look at at the FCC to see if we can and should enable consumers to use unlocked phones.”
A recent petition to make cell phone unlocking legal has received over 100,000 signatures warranting an official response from the White House.