AH Phone Unlock

While Unlocking your Phone is still Illegal, the FCC Isn’t Happy About It

August 22, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

The ever ending saga of SIM unlocking your cell phone. Earlier this year, there was a petition going around to get a response from the President, which exploded. Apparently, the FCC is wanting phone companies, Congress and users to remember that the issue is still not resolved. Today, Interim Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn released a statement saying that the FCC is working to hammer out an unlocking agreement with carriers while several pieces of legislation plod through Congress.

Clyburn says “Months ago, the commission began meeting with carriers and representative trade associations to reach an industry standard policy for unlocking cell phones,” she continues to say “As the 114,000 people that signed on to the White House petition earlier this year demonstrate, this issue is too important to consumers for us to not find a solution, and I firmly believe a voluntary approach that promotes competition and consumer choice is still possible.”

The interim Chairwoman also said that while a few carriers have adopted reasonable unlocking policies, the FCC was going to “redouble its efforts” to get a solution going. The stated goal for Clyburn is a system where any customer can unlock a phone on any carrier, as long as they’ve fulfilled the terms of their contract. Basically meaning that you cannot buy a subsidized Galaxy S4 and then unlock it to use it on another carrier.

AT&T and T-Mobile both offer to unlock most phones after a contract has expired or as long as their account is in good standing. Of course, both carriers don’t sell phones unlocked, except the Nexus devices. Which is probably your best bet if you’re not on Verizon or Sprint.

Earlier in the year, Julius Genachowski, the former Chairwoman of the FCC asked Congress to consider changing that law, and several legislators have introduced bills that would make it legal to unlock your phone. How many of you want Congress to make it legal to SIM unlock your phone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.