Blumenthal Statement On FCC Agreement With Cell Phone Providers To Allow Consumers To Unlock Mobile Devices

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) released a statement following the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) announcement of an agreement with cell phone providers that will allow consumers to unlock their mobile devices. The FCC’s announcement comes on the heels of  the Wireless Consumer Choice Act of 2013 – legislation introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Blumenthal in March – which directs the FCC to take action to ensure consumers have the right to unlock their cell phones.

 “This decision by the FCC allows consumers to vote with their feet without being forced to buy a new phone. As consumers shop around for the latest smartphones this holiday season, they deserve to know they can take their investments with them – just like laptops or television sets – if they choose to switch providers. This move by the FCC will provide consumers with that certainty. I commend the Commission, the NTIA, and my Senate colleagues for working hard to give wireless consumers the protections they deserve. I will work to ensure providers uphold the letter and spirit of this agreement.”

 In February, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and the White House voiced their support for efforts to allow consumers to unlock their cell phones – giving them more control over their phones and increasing competition in the wireless market. These announcements came after a decision was made by the Library of Congress to not extend the exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act permitting consumers to unlock their mobile devices.