Nov 15 2013, 7:46am CST | by Sumayah Aamir
Tom Wheeler has been Chairman of the FCC for a fairly brief period of time. Yet he is a tough talker. The man has started issuing statements targeting the CTIA Wireless Association. The main issue is the unlocking of cell phones so that the user base may employ any carrier it prefers.
The action has been illegal on a personal basis for a year or so thanks to a ruling by the Librarian of Congress. This was in keeping with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. In actuality, carriers unlock phones provided customers pay as per contractual basis. But the procedure acquires a whole other complexity especially when customers travel overseas or can’t convince the company to acquiesce to their desires.
Tom Wheeler has made it plain as daylight that he wants the ban to be done away with. In a letter to the CEO of CTIA, he made it quite clear that either they act on the advice or else the FCC has ways of acting on its own. Carriers were to unlock phones provided the contracts were finished.
The guidelines issued by the FCC are: provision of a lucid policy on unlocking; unlocking devices once the contracts or ETFs are done with; unlocking devices and notification of customers free of charge; sorting through unlocking requests within two business days; and last but not least, unlocking devices for members of the military upon their deployment anywhere in the world. Tom Wheeler is a man of action and was once the head of the CTIA too. However, he has spoken of himself as being on the side of the common man in America.
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