White House Supports Unlockable Cell Phones

It recently became illegal to unlock your smartphone for use on another network without the current network’s permission. We covered it here.

A petition to the White House sought to overturn that change, and got more than four times the number of signatures required for an official response. That response came Monday. Here’s part of what the president’s senior adviser for the internet said…

The White House agrees with the 114,000+ of you who believe that consumers should be able to unlock their cell phones without risking criminal or other penalties. In fact, we believe the same principle should also apply to tablets, which are increasingly similar to smart phones. If you have paid for your mobile device, and aren’t bound by a service agreement or other obligation, you should be able to use it on another network.

The Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, also opposes the rule. So that means it’s OK to do now, right?

Nope, it’s still illegal to unlock your phone without your carrier’s permission. But this is a promising first step toward fixing it, and shows that democracy still works after all, sometimes.

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's '205 Ways to Save Money' as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1094 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.