A Call Answered: Unlocking America's Cell Phones

Last year, over 114,000 of you made your voice heard and petitioned the Administration to restore a basic consumer freedom: to take your mobile service — and a phone or tablet you already own — to the carrier that best suits your needs. 

It's common sense, good for competition and innovation, and essential to consumers.  That's why the Administration declared last March that "It's time to legalize cell phone unlocking," and today the President commended Congress for doing just that:

I applaud Members of Congress for passing the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act. Last year, in response to a "We the People" petition from consumers across our country, my Administration called for allowing Americans to use their phones or mobile devices on any network they choose. We laid out steps the FCC, industry, and Congress should take to ensure copyright law does not undermine wireless competition, and worked with wireless carriers to reach a voluntary agreement that helps restore this basic consumer freedom. The bill Congress passed today is another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cell phone carrier that meets their needs and their budget. I commend Chairmen Leahy and Goodlatte, and Ranking Members Grassley and Conyers for their leadership on this important consumer issue and look forward to signing this bill into law.

Everyone has done their part to get here -- from the FCC convening carriers, to the industry agreeing to voluntary steps to make their unlocking process transparent and reliable.  And as he said today, the President looks forward to signing this bill into law. It's just one more way he is taking the lead in making life a little easier for the middle class, and ensuring our technology remains the envy of the world.

You called, the President answered, and together we made cell phone unlocking happen.

R. David Edelman is Senior Advisor for Internet, Innovation, and Privacy
Related Topics: We the People, Technology
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