(The Hosting News) – The White House wants to make it legal for people to unlock smartphones – a move that would allow mobile owners to use the devices on different wireless networks than they were originally intended for.
To do so, the Obama administration via the Commerce Department has filed a petition to the FCC, saying that unlocking phones would provide for “greater competition and consumer choice in the marketplace,” according to a press release.
Mobile phone unlocking without the permission of a carrier was previously made illegal in January. At the time, the ruling was made under supervision from the Library of Congress and affected the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
“Americans should be able to use their mobile devices on whatever networks they choose and have their devices unlocked without hassle,” emphasized NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling in a press release.
The U.S. Administration’s move to support phone unlocking isn’t surprising, however. U.S. President Barack Obama previously signaled his support for such a move.
“The proposed rule would shift the burden associated with device unlocking onto the carriers that imposed the locks, and ensure they consistently do so in a way that is both expeditious and transparent. Removing a lock on a mobile device, however, would not affect any service agreement or contract the consumer has with a mobile provider,” states the petition.
Some mobile developers currently offer already unlocked models of smartphone devices.