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Unlocking Phones Soon To Be Legal Again After Senate Passes

July 16, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

Unlocking phones has been a thing of importance with consumers for quite some time, allowing subscribers of one wireless carrier here in the U.S. to take their phone with them to another carrier if they so chose to upon leaving their current subscriber. Some time ago congress had passed a law that stated it was illegal to unlock your phones, whether you had already paid for them or not. While it didn’t necessarily stop everyone from unlocking their phones anyway, just the fact that it was illegal to do in the first place was completely ridiculous. All that begins to change today as the U.S. Senate is passing a bill making it OK, again, to unlock your phones and take them with you else where if you wish.

The unanimously passed bill termed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, states that consumers now have the ability to unlock their phones after they have reached the end of their contract and are all paid up(we’ll take that to mean that any remaining balance is paid off including contract fees, account balance etc.), leaving them free to travel to another carrier and use the same device now that it’s unlocked. This bill puts the power of choice back in the hands of the consumer, and it’s a decision likely to delight plenty of people unless you already use an unlocked device because it came that way.

The new bill, essentially an exemption to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, heads to the House to receive further action on the matter and makes its way to finalization. The illegal action of unlocking phones was passed in the first place after the senate deemed that it might be a breach of copyright to unlock a phone, due to possible copyright protection of phone software. Now that the craziness is all over with and congress sees it how we the consumers see it, we can take the devices that we’ve already paid for and own and do with them as we wish. U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy stated that this bill was about consumer rights, and that we should have the ability to decide which carrier we choose to subscribe to after we have fulfilled our contracts on current wireless plans. We certainly agree.