In response to an online petition, with over 114,000 signatures, asking for reform regarding what is commonly know as “unlocking” a cellphone, the Obama administration agrees with the petitioners. The cellphone companies are wrong to prevent customers from the full use of their device(s). “It’s common sense,” says the administration, that when a consumer buys a device they are free to take that device to the carrier they desire, provided contractual obligations do not prevent it.
Apparently, up until now, common sense has escaped these companies and the Capitol. The full response is available here.
According to the response, service providers would still be permitted to lock a customer down with the ubiquitous 2-year plan. However, the response state that a carrier should not be permitted to implement technological blocks and hindrances that prevent the consumer from using their device.
The White House’s response is in direct opposition to what the Library of Congress announced in October when it sided with the carriers that customers should not be able to unlock their devices.
The proverbial ball is on Congress’s court now. The administration says that it would support narrow legislative fixes to respond to the issue. Hopefully, the carriers will take note of the White House’s position.