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The Mobile Phone Unlocking Bill Signed by Obama; Valid until 2015

The mobile phone unlocking bill had been in the news for a long time and President of the United States has signed it finally. It will be valid in the US until 2015. The subscribers of any wireless carrier will practice the flexibility to change their carrier according to own requirement. They can simply unlock their phones without causing any legal prosecution now. The customer’s right to update software and change carrier has also been strengthened with this bill.mobile-phones

The mobile phone unlocking related law was passed under the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act H.R. 1123. A majority of votes went in the favor of the motion and hence the bill was approved by the House of Representatives last week. The mobile devices that are given for purchase by the carriers in the United States are stuffed with a software that dictates the one carrier network rule of the subscriber.

In January 2012, the law that was passed in order to help update the software was out carded by the Library of Congress. The reason given by Library of Congress was related to the violation of Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The Congress did not decide to renew the exception set up by DMCA for device unlocking past year. The new law has now been signed by Obama and it has turned down the decision made by the Library of Congress.

The Whitehouse blog post reads:

The effort began with a digital petition on the White House’s We the People site, an online platform where citizens can offer ideas for the Administration to take action on important issues facing our country. A digital rights activist named Sina Khanifar submitted a simple request: restore an exception to the law to let consumers take their mobile phone to the carrier that best suits their needs by “unlocking” the device.

The freedom to unlock devices is a great benefit for the subscribers, especially the international travelers who may ignore the roaming charges at will. An ample of politicians supported this bill and the move by Obama has been appreciated by one and all. The Vice President of Government Affairs at CTIA however, was not in the favor of the law and he stated “Even though the vast majority of Americans enjoy upgrading to new devices once their contract terms are fulfilled, we recognize that some consumers may want to unlock their devices to move to another carrier.”


About David Mayor

Writer and editor of The Next Digit Media, he takes care of iOS, Apple, Mac and other gadgets. He worked at Apple Inc, before joining to TND Media. He was graduated in Bachelor of Journalism & Mass Communication Degree from Cambridge University. All posts by David

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