Yesterday, the U.S. Commerce Dept.’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued a formal petition to the FCC, asking that the agency require wireless carriers to unlock all wireless devices for use with other carriers upon request.
“Americans should be able to use their mobile devices on whatever networks they choose and have their devices unlocked without hassle,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling.
This requirement would not reverse the Librarian of Congress’s recent, anticonsumer interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, as it would still be against the law to unlock your own phone without permission, but it would at least insure that consumers can get their phones unlocked with minimal hassle or confusion.
“The proposed rule would shift the burden associated with device unlocking onto the carriers that imposed the locks, and ensure they consistently do so in a way that is both expeditious and transparent,” writes the NTIA in a statement. “Removing a lock on a mobile device, however, would not affect any service agreement or contract the consumer has with a mobile provider.”