FCC Proposes New Rules To Further "Unlock" Cellphones

Sick of boring handsets with crippled features? So is FCC chairman Kevin Martin. He’s proposing “sweeping new rules” that would apply to the 700mhz spectrum that is soon to be vacated as television goes digital. What will the new rules be?

Under Martin’s proposal, to be circulated in the agency as early as Tuesday, mobile services in these airwaves would have to allow consumer choice.

“Whoever wins this spectrum has to provide … truly open broadband network – one that will open the door to a lot of innovative services for consumers,” Martin said in an interview Monday.

What this would mean in practice: “You can use any wireless device and download any mobile broadband application, with no restrictions,” Martin explained. The only exceptions would be software that is illegal or could harm a network.

The rules would only apply to devices which use the new spectrum, but could have repercussions throughout the industry. Wouldn’t it be nice if your phone wasn’t tied to a carrier? That way if you switch… or they drop you for complaining too much… you wouldn’t have to throw your phone away. You could simply switch to any carrier with a compatible network.

New rules could rock wireless world
[USA Today] (Thanks, Nathan!)

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