WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today made the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski and the White House announced that they would back efforts to unlock cell phones, allowing consumers to switch carriers while keeping their phones. These announcements came after a decision was made by the Library of Congress to not extend the exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act permitting consumers to unlock their phones. Klobuchar is introducing legislation this week to allow cell phone unlocking.
“Consumers should be free to choose the phone and service that best fits their needs and their budgets. We need to make sure consumers are getting a fair deal and today’s announcement is a welcome step towards implementing consumer-friendly policies in the wireless industry,” Klobuchar said.“That’s why I’m introducing legislation this week to get rid of the ban on unlocking cell phones and I will continue to work to advance commonsense measures to protect consumers and promote competition.”
Klobuchar is a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and chairs the Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, and has been a leader in standing up for consumers and boosting competition in the marketplace. She authored legislation—the Cell Phone Consumer Empowerment Act—to strengthen consumer protections in the wireless industry, including looking at allowing consumers to unlock their phones. Klobuchar has also pushed the FCC to examine the competitive impact on consumers from the wireless carriers’ exclusive arrangements with cell phone manufacturers.