Answering the Call on Cell Phone Unlocking

Last March, after hearing from over 114,000 of you on our We the People platform, the Obama Administration called to restore the basic consumer freedom of cell phone unlocking -- to allow you to use your mobile devices on any compatible network you choose -- and provided a roadmap for the Federal Communications Commission, industry, and Congress to solve this for the American people. Today, with the support of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, the nation’s largest wireless carriers announced they will abide by a new series of voluntary “unlocking principles” to help bring some relief to consumers in the next few months.

Today's announcement is an important step forward for consumers. First and foremost, the voluntary agreement will help to ensure carriers unlock phones in a manner that is reliable, transparent, and timely. We also understand this commitment by the wireless carriers will allow our deployed military personnel to have their phones unlocked before heading abroad, an admirable service for our troops.

This issue is about the simple freedom to take your business where you please, and to find the wireless plan that suits your needs -- provided you have paid for your mobile device.

The FCC and carriers are doing their part. Now it is time for Congress to step up and finish the job by passing the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, which was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee this summer, and its companion in the Senate. We know this is an important issue to many of you. The Administration will continue to watch it closely in the coming months.

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