FCC to Investigate Ban on Unlocking Cell Phones

Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:07pm by iClarified | Please help us and submit a translation by clicking here | 17532 views

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.

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namedas - July 1, 2013 at 10:51am
The updated information is.....It is now legal to get our phones unlocked from third party unlocking services in U.S.Recently, I unlocked my mobile .I had to travel outside my country and I had to unlock it very quickly.My network provider prolonged the unlock process...and luckily the amendment of unlocking phone made legal saved my time.I used the service from [ and removed the network lock very easily.They unlocked my phone within few hours....
zeppy - March 3, 2013 at 12:10pm
Thank you AT&T and Verizon for getting the law passed to put us in prison for 5 years and pay $500,000 in fines. For what exactly? Oh... "for unlocking our phones so we can use them on T-Mobile or Sprint". Thanks again AT&T and Verizon!!! Long live T-Mobile for the 99% of us who are tired of being AT&T/Verizon ripped-off slaves.
Mofreh Sarhan - March 2, 2013 at 10:54pm
I agree that all iphone should be unlocked stop the network providers from having a complete control and taken away the freedom of customers choices for any net work, also the excessive charges from the net work provider during roaming and the price of iPhone should drop down to be affordable for every apple fanatic like my self I remember very well once i was at home and i was charged 300 Euro for one call between the two net works ,it is a market control based on greed no roam for taken into account customers interest otherwise I can see the Death of IPhone as it was clearly proven that the lodes 3gs still work with the newest ios what difference seconds in the speed siri how many iphone owner actually use siri? I would love if Apple to put aside the Very Greedy police aside and be imaginative and more intuitive
Mel - March 2, 2013 at 6:45am
I my self has small business of repairing and unlocking cellphone here in California. Since after Jan. 26,2013 I HAVE and started to questioning every single customer's that comes to my shop on when, where and how they got their cellphone NOW :( is embarrassing to do it but I HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO CHECK. IF for example is a cop or investigator that just want to check on me if I still unlock any new contract or newly bought phone that is locked from any carrier ( after jan.26.2013 ) this is very harmful to small business like us. I sell Simple mobile, H20, RedPocket, SpotMobile, NET10, GoSmart. ALL this company uses all AT&T and Tmobile network, they do not have their own network they borrow it from those 4 major company only and that will prevent us to use the cellphone to all prepaid company starting with new model that will come now. Since we cannot unlock those phones.
Me no like - March 2, 2013 at 5:58pm
Do you have to have a proof that you've purchased an iPhone 5? Because I bought 2 Iphone 5 one b4 the 26 th
unlock4less - March 2, 2013 at 12:50am
They have the right to lock their phone but we should have the right to unlock them.
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