Unlocking Cell Phones

In response to:

The Obama Administration Pushes the FCC to Allow Phone Unlocking

There are a couple of “policies” that contribute to the culture of cell phone usage in the United States.  One of those is “unlocking” a cell phone in order to do away with the restrictions that a manufacturer or carrier place on users, and another is the freedom or lack thereof of choosing a cell carrier.  The article above deals with these.  Read it and then comment on the issues in terms of the motivating, limiting, inhibiting, and enabling factors we have discussed.

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With cell phones being our constant companions in today’s world, wouldn’t it be nice to use them with whatever company we want? WE spend hundreds of dollars per phone, and we are strapped to the company we purchased them from. After you spend all this money on the your brand new cell phone, you cannot change phone companies. You not only bought the phone, but all the strings attached to it. President Obama’s plan on removing the limitations on cell phones is overdue for this day and age.

There are several enabling, limiting, motivating, and inhibiting factors to this pending policy change. Enabling factors to unlocking cell phones is that it would not affect service agreements that the providers has with the consumer. With the requests to the FCC to “immediately initiate the process of setting rules that protect Americans’ investments in mobile devices” they would allow cell phones to be used with any “compatible network”.  Limiting factors for unlocking cell phones are a few change in the Library of Congress. The new elimination of exemptions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that allowed consumers to unlock new mobile phones without the cell phone carriers permission. Motivating factors of this change would be freedom to the consumers. Consumers could use their cell phones to whatever provider they desire, and would have an easy transfer between compatible networks. The only disincentive of this would be for the cell phones providers, they no longer will have consumers “locked in”.

Cell phones are mandatory in today’s world. Not having a cell phone is no longer an option, and smartphones are becoming more and more necessary (previous post highlights that). Limiting consumers with cell phones should no longer be an issue. One should not have to cut off an arm and a leg to change providers by purchasing a brand new phone for no reason at all, except to please the provider.

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