Now consumers won’t be able to unlock their cell phones under new regulation- T, VZ, S
Northern, WI 1/26/2013 (avauncer) - As of today American consumers are no longer at liberty to opt for a carrier other than the one which subsidized their Smartphone.
As per an amendment to the U.S. regulations supported by wireless carriers like Verizon Communication Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) the changeover to a new carrier won’t through software manipulation won’t be expressly allowed under the Library of Congress’s Copyright Law.
With the recent amendment the legal privilege to change the carrier after buying a subsidized Smartphone under a yearly data-plan from a wireless carrier, will no longer be available to the American consumers. However they said law does not explicitly state the act as illegal, Mitch Stoltz, an attorney, said in an interview. Consumers who choose to change over to another carrier could be “sued” and after that “it will be up to a judge” to decide if the act constitutes an illegality, he explained. Stoltz represents the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group in San Francisco.
A Washington based trade group CTIA’s filed a petition before the Library of Congress that subsidies are granted to ensure that the “handset will be used, as contemplated, with the carrier’s service”. Dodging any barriers to “unauthorized use” could “have significant adverse effects on the wireless industry and on the public” the February 2012, filing of the group read.
All four of the largest wireless service providers AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) , Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S), T-Mobile USA Inc. And Verizon Communication Inc. (NYSE:VZ) are members of The CTIA Wireless Association. All the major players have vocally advocated their collective stance on the issue.
In the regulatory notice James Billington, the Librarian of Congress said that the action is “an essential part of the wireless industry’s dominant business model”.
The amendment announced in October comes into force today. It will be applicable to all phones purchased after today. People who got their phones before today can still unlock their phones.
The shares of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) were up by 0.8% to close at $34.02. The shares of Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE:S) were down 0.53% to close at $5.64.The shares of Verizon Communication Inc. (NYSE:VZ) were up by 0.19% to close at $42.67.