IEEE Computer Society Newsfeed

Subscribe RSS

« Back

White House Supports Unlocked Digital Devices

The White House announced this week that US consumers should be allowed to easily move their wireless services to different carriers without facing penalties for using an unlocked device not sold by the new service provider. Cellular phones and tablets are typically sold by carriers at deep discounts in exchange for tying them to a long-term service contract. Providers thus typically lock or prevent digital devices from moving freely between networks. However, consumer advocates and customers contend they should be able to take their devices with them, if they switch to a competitor because, for example, it offers better prices. Locking handsets, they say, reduces consumer choice and phones’ resale value. The US Library of Congress banned the unlocking of phones beginning this year. Following complaints, the Library of Congress has continued to back its ruling but has said officials should review the issue. US Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has supported the unlocking of phones. (Wall Street Journal)(Reuters)

Trackback URL: