The House unanimously passes cellphone unlocking bill, Obama need only to sign it into law


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It’s happening… Soon it will once again be legal to unlock your smartphone (or have someone else do it for you) in the US. After the Senate passed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act nearly 2 weeks ago, The House of Representatives is now following suit. The cellphone unlocking bill was passed unanimously by the HoR this afternoon, leaving only President Obama as the only thing keeping this bill from becoming law. But don’t worry — Obama has already come out in support of the bill, saying in a statement:

“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.”

While this is a huge step in the right direction, keep in mind the new bill isn’t permanent, merely a 3-year exemption that will need to be examined by the Library of Congress again in 2015. You can thank 1998’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act for that (as well as a boatload of other headaches surrounding copyright claims around the net).

Once signed into law, expect to find mom n’ pop shops popping up around your city offering cellphone unlocking services, or even a few who can do everything online. With telecoms gradually making the transition to LTE services — both data and voice — the days of universal cross network compatible devices could soon be upon us.

[Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Thank god this is finally happening

    1. How was this the administration’s fault?

      1. Who else?

        1. P.S. Please don’t get me started on politics

          1. Son, you ever heard of the legislative branch of our government? You know, the ones that created the Digital Millennium Copyright Act?

            I’m not trying to start a long political debate but I just had to point your meme’s error.

          2. And now you know, thank you for keeping me informed

          3. Yup, pleasure. We just can’t place all the blame on who’s occupying the white house, there’s many, many folks in the House and Senate that carry a lion’s share of the responsibility for our problems.

          4. Just so you know all politicians and Senate are the same ;)

          5. Those “adults” in D.C. are very similar to each other. Playing games with our lives and acting in front of cameras, we know this and it’s depressing.

          6. Wish I could vote knowing what I truly believe in :(

          7. To late to vote Libertarian?

          8. Yep, I’m suprised tru-TV hasn’t made a reality show out of them yet.

          9. At least we got Veep to cheer us up a bit about that whole world in D.C. Better to laugh than cry about it I guess. Good series.

    2. That scumbag hat, though.

      1. Governmental building size, bitches!

  2. Whooptie-freaking-do

  3. But can we trust this in Obama hands

    1. Hey, Clinton signed the E-Signature bill into law. This one is a no-brainer that shouldn’t have any partisan shenanigans attached.

  4. Well this is great, now can we focus on the real issues or are we going to turn our national attention on legalizing wearing no shoes and shirts in retail/restaurant establishments?

  5. This is awesome if you are not dealing with verizon as their phones are on a different frequency and will not run on another network.

    1. Just wait until the US makes the transition to VoLTE and we’ll start seeing more cross network compatibility.

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