Wireless carriers voluntarily agreed to six principles aligned with the FCC’s proposal last month that will allow consumers to unlock their phones and tablets
Earlier this year, Klobuchar introduced legislation that directed the FCC to take action on cell phone unlocking and helped lead to yesterday’s decision
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar said that the decision by wireless carriers to allow cell phone unlocking is a victory for consumer choice. Wireless carriers voluntarily agreed to six principles aligned with the FCC’s proposal last month that will allow consumers to unlock their phones and tablets. Earlier this year, Klobuchar introduced the bipartisan Wireless Consumer Choice Act with Senators Lee and Blumenthal, which directed the FCC to take action on cell phone unlocking and helped lead to yesterday’s decision.
“Once consumers have paid for a phone or tablet, and there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to change their service as they see fit,” said Klobuchar. “The decision by the wireless industry is a victory for consumer choice, and I will continue to work with consumers and the wireless industry to implement this plan and give consumers the freedom to choose the plan that best meets their needs while keeping their devices.”
The wireless industry has agreed to create a standard that will: provide a clear, concise, and readily accessible policy on unlocking for both prepaid and postpaid devices; unlock mobile wireless devices for customers, former customers, and legitimate owners when the applicable service contract, installment plan, or ETF has been fulfilled; affirmatively notify customers when their devices are eligible for unlocking and/or automatically unlock devices when eligible, without an additional fee; process unlocking requests or provide an explanation of denial within two business days; and unlock devices for military personnel upon deployment. Companies will implement at least three of these principles within three months and the remainder within twelve months.
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. At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing earlier this year she pressed officials from the wireless industry to allow cell phone unlocking. In addition to the Wireless Consumer Choice Act , she also 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.