The National Telecommunications and Information Administration this week petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to require wireless carriers to unlock mobile phones, tablets and other devices upon request of the customer.This rule change would benefit the public in several ways, argued the NTIA, an executive branch agency that advises the president on telecommunications and information policy issues. It would give consumers greater freedom to choose among alternative service providers, for example, and would also foster greater competition among carriers, the agency stated in its petition to the FCC.Fundamentally, though, the move is about customers’ convenience and ability to use their personal property in the manner they choose.”Americans should be able to use their mobile devices on whatever networks they choose and have their devices unlocked without hassle,” said Lawrence Strickling, assistant secretary of commerce for communications and information and NTIA administrator.An NTIA spokesperson was not immediately available to provide further details.The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, passed in 1998, gave the Librarian of Congress the right to conduct a proceeding every three years to determine exemptions to the DMCA’s prohibition against circumventing technological measures to protect copyrighted works.Last year, the NTIA recommended that the Librarian grant an exemption for unlocking mobile phones,… Read full this story
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