The new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is on a mission to get carriers to allow phone unlocking. Despite having only been at his post for four months, new FCC chief Tom Wheeler has already made his feelings on the current situation very clear to the CTIA.
The CTIA is also known as the Wireless Association, a trade group which represents companies within the international wireless telecommunication industry. Wheeler wrote a letter to the CTIA expressing the FCC’s wish to solidify consumer rights by allowing them to unlock a wireless device after all contractual obligations have been met.
According to Wheeler’s letter, this is a move that the FCC have had in the pipeline for some time, and which he expects CTIA to comply with in the near future. Wheeler went as far as to say that US service providers should not only allow devices to be unlocked after contracts expire, but should notify customers when this happens and possibly even unlock devices automatically and free of charge.
For now, it still remains that unlocking your smartphone without the express permission of your carrier is illegal, but this may all be about the change. In his letter, the chairman warned CTIA that the FCC would have no choice but to regulate if they continued to drag their feet on the issue.