Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
GET RECOGNIZED.
Let an ISACA® certification
elevate your career.

Register today and save
Hardware
24/7/365 Network Uptime
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
FCC, Telecom Carriers Near Deal on Phone Unlocking
FCC, Telecom Carriers Near Deal on Phone Unlocking

By Barry Levine
December 12, 2013 1:58PM

    Bookmark and Share
Unlocking took a more prominent role this year because the Library of Congress ruled that unlocking was illegal in that it violated copyright laws, which that institution oversees. The Librarian of Congress said phones purchased after January 2013 would no longer be exempt from copyright law. The FCC, meanwhile, wanted to make it easier to unlock a phone.
 

Related Topics

FCC
Unlocking
Smartphones



Mobile phone unlocking, once considered by phone companies as violations of their legal agreements, may soon become accepted by the industry. That's the word from the head of the Federal Communications Commission.

On Thursday, agency Chairman Tom Wheeler said major carriers and his agency have reached a voluntary agreement. The deal reportedly calls for providers to let customers know if and how their phones can be unlocked, such as through text messaging that information, and all unlocking requests would need to be accepted or denied by a carrier within two business days.

In November, Wheeler told carriers he hoped to have a policy in place prior to the holiday season, and he has indicated that regulations could be imposed if a voluntary agreement was not reached.

At the end of a contract, customers will possibly have an easier time getting a phone unlocked for use on the same or another carrier. Currently, the major carriers allow for unlocking, with varying degrees of support or ease of use.

Still on the Table

Some issues reportedly are still on the table. They include how to handle pre-paid phones, how to regulate the selling of unlocked phones, how support would be handled for a phone that did not successfully unlock, and the timing of the rollout.

Phone locking requires that a given phone to be used with a given carrier. From the carrier point of view, it cuts down on customer turnover and assures that the device being used is optimized for working on the carrier's network.

From the customer point of view, the inability to easily move between carriers is compensated, at least in part, by relatively inexpensive mobile phones whose actual hardware price has been heavily subsidized by that carrier. But the policy has also meant that customers are often subjected to long contracts with penalty clauses for early termination, and customers cannot readily take advantage of the rapidly changing, competing plans and technologies among carriers.

'Time to Legalize'

After years of hovering in the background of telecommunication policy issues, unlocking took a more prominent role this year because the Library of Congress ruled that unlocking was illegal in that it violated copyright laws, which that institution oversees. The Librarian of Congress said that phones purchased after January 2013 would no longer be exempt from violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The phone industry had been pushing for action to oppose unlocking, which it said ran counter to its agreements with consumers.

The resulting uproar drove an online petition that acquired 14,000 more signatures than the 100,000 required for a White House response.

In a posting on the White House blog, Senior Presidential Adviser for Internet, Innovation and Privacy R. David Edelman wrote the official response to the petition, entitled, "It's Time to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking." In addition to backing the petition's position "that consumers should be able to unlock their phones without risking criminal or other penalties," he said the same principle should be applied to locked tablets.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Hardware
1.   US Orders a New Cray for Nuclear Arms
2.   PC Shipment Slump Bottoms Out
3.   IBM Earmarks $3B for Next-Gen Chips
4.   Most Networks Not Ready for IoT
5.   Gartner Sees Tablets Up, PCs Down


advertisement
Most Networks Not Ready for IoT
But most enterprises are prepared.
Average Rating:
Gartner Sees Tablets Up, PCs Down
But PC sales are recovering.
Average Rating:
Review: Tablets with Keyboard Covers
How do Surface and Lumia stack up?
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Report: Chinese Hackers Hit U.S. Personnel Networks
Hackers from China broke into the computer networks of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management earlier this year with the intention of accessing the files of tens of thousands of federal employees.
 
Charges: Russian Stole Data from U.S. Restaurants, Zoo
A Russian man arrested on bank fraud and other charges hacked into computers at restaurants in Washington, hundreds of other retail businesses, and even the Phoenix Zoo, authorities say.
 
Another Month, Another IE-Focused Patch Tuesday
Microsoft rolled out 59 vulnerabilities for Internet Explorer in June. But the IE-patching party is not over yet. Redmond published six new security bulletins on Tuesday; two, critical; three, important.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | Small Business | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.