WASHINGTON—Before January of this year, people could unlock cell phones in order to utilize whatever phone service they chose. After January 1st, that option was locked-out. That is to say that you could no longer unlock your cell phone and had to buy a new cell phone to switch services. Although unlocked cell phone are still sold through several stores and Internet sources.
That could change if legislation submitted by Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA6) passes.
The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, H.R. 1123, would repeal Paragraph (3) of section 201.40(b) of title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations, amended by the Library of Congress in October of 2012, to allow consumers to unlock cell phones. Cell phones were locked based on Copyright infringement.
This would, of course, allow consumers to switch services without having to purchase new phones. The Bill, with 8 cosponsors, was referred to the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, And The Internet on the 15th.
It is expected that cell phone industry lobbyists will be out in force.