Love your smartphone but not your wireless carrier?
You might be out of luck.
Last October, the Library of Congress adjusted its interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The result is it’s now illegal for customers to “unlock” smartphones without first getting their carrier’s permission—even if they own the phone outright. That means even if your contract is over and you’ve paid off your smartphone, you still have to ask for your current wireless company’s permission to move your phone to another carrier.
We think that’s bad for consumers, and terrible for wireless competition.
And it gets worse: Violating the rule is punishable with a $500,000 fine, and up to 5 years in prison!
That’s why CUB is asking for the FCC’s help. Right now, you can use CUB’s Action Network to send a message to the FCC asking it to require all wireless carriers to allow customers who aren’t under contract to “unlock” phones that they own. It’s only fair.
You paid good money for your smartphone—you should be able to do what you want with it when your contract is up.