The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants phone unlocking to be legalized.
The FCC has been working with CTIA, a wireless trade group, for eight months to create a policy that would deal with people’s rights to unlock their phones. The FCC is urging the wireless industry, which includes carriers such as AT&T (T), T-Mobile (TMUS), Sprint (S) and Verizon (VZ), to voluntarily unlock devices before the FCC has to regulate it. The FCC claims that many carriers agree that consumers should have the right to unlock their phones once their contracts have ended, but that there isn’t a policy to notify customers of when their phones can be unlocked, reports Reuters.
According to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, any solution that is reached must include five parts: a clear and comprehensive policy on unlocking, an agreement that customers can unlock phones if they have completed their contracts or paid off early termination fees, notification of when a device is able to be unlocked or automatic unlocking of the device, unlocking of a device or a reason that the process has been denied in two days time, and that devices that belong to military personal should be unlocked so long as they are deployed, reports PC Magazine.