President Obama has signed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act into law, after it passed both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. The bill restores the right for consumers to unlock their cell phones, including the iPhone.
Unfortunately, the bill does not permanently legalize cell phone unlocking, however it does require the Library of Congress to put a temporary exemption back in place while it decides whether or not to extend it for renewal. The bill does give the Library of Congress the power to determine whether or not consumers have the choice to unlock their cell phone, and later next year the copyright office could restore the ban.
Today, President Obama will sign into law the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, and in doing so, will achieve a rare trifecta: a win for American consumers, a win for wireless competition, and an example of democracy at its best — bipartisan congressional action in direct response to a call to action from the American people.
Back in 2013 the Library of Congress ruled that unlocking cell phones would be illegal, unless carrier’s give permission. Many petitioned this rule change and brought both sides together to fight for a bill that will give consumers the option to unlock their cell phones.
The White House will be holding a conference call on Tuesday with administration officials to discuss the new law and answer any questions.