FCC plans to rule carriers must unlock phones after 60 days

Carrier-locking persists as the back-end sting for customers lured by front-end handset deals, and the Federal Communications Commission is proposing to put strict limits on the predatory practice: a 60-day mandatory unlock after purchase.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, or NPRM, in a press release Thursday. "When you buy a phone, you should have the freedom to decide when to change service to the carrier you want and not have the device you own stuck by practices that prevent you from making that choice," she wrote. "That is why we are proposing clear, nationwide mobile phone unlocking rules."

Specifically, the release says, carriers would simply have to provide unlocking services 60 days after activation. A welcome standard, but it may run afoul of today's phone and wireless markets.

I love the idea that a federal regulation "may run afoul" of the market it supposedly regulates. God bless America.

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