Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Senate Judiciary Committee approve Smartphone Unlocking Bill on Thursday June 10th 2014 - Jamaicans access to unlocked smartphones to increase
“This is critical for those who need technical assistance to unlock their device. We are also pleased that a recent amendment to the bill removed language about bulk unlocking, which -- like individual unlocking -- has nothing to do with copyright law”
Laura Moy, staff attorney for Public Knowledge commenting on the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously vote to approve a Bill to allow Americans to unlock their smartphones on Thursday June 10th 2014
The Senate Judiciary Committee made up of members of the Upper House of Senate of the US Congress on Thursday June 10th 2014 unanimously voted to approve a Bill to make it easier for Americans to unlock their smartphones as stated in “Cell phone unlocking bill moves forward in Senate”, published July 10, 2014 12:08 PM PDT by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News.
This Bill has been a long time coming. Smartphone unlocking was initially made Illegal by the Library of Congress on Saturday 25th January 2013.
This ruling was based on the fact that unlocking smartphones and Tablets tampers with the Firmware of the smartphones and Tablets, which form a Telecom Provider's point of view was illegal as explained in my blog article entitled "Librarian of the Library of Congress makes smartphone unlocking Illegal - How Jamaica can benefit from the Safe Haven of MNP by banning unlocking of smartphones and Tablets".
It started out as a petition to the White House that ended up with the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) and the CTIA, the Trade group that represents the Telecom Providers on Thursday December 12th, 2013, agreeing on some Ground rules for Unlocking smartphones as explained in my blog article entitled “FCC and CTIA says Unlocking cellphones legal on Thursday December 12 2013 – Torch Bearing Mob Petition's President and Congress thus making CTIA blink and concede People Power”.
The debate continued on into the New Year 2014 with the Lower House (U.S. House of Representatives) voting 295-114 on Tuesday February 25th 2014 to pass a Bill for consideration by the Upper House (Senate) to ratify into Law the Bill to make smartphone unlocking legal as reported in my blog article entitled “How to Unlock your Apple iPhone - Backup, Erase and Restore with The Bag Man being iOS Setup Assistant”.
Unlocking smartphones in the US of A – Jamaicans access to unlocked smartphones to increase
It's not yet law, fellow Americans, so don't run out yet and start unlocking your smartphone. Plus, you'll STILL have to own the smartphone you're planning to unlock outright, otherwise if it's still on a 2-Year Contract with the Telecom Provider, they won't unlock it for you.
Additionally, you can now use third party websites that offer unlocking services such as those listed in my very popular blog article entitled “How to unlock any phone and put it on any Network - Guaranteed to unlock any Feature or Smartphone on the Chennai Express”.
The language in the Bill relating to the Bulk unlocking of smartphones still remains. But this is a big step forward and it means Americans are heading towards a time where unlocking smartphone will be totally legal.
And what does this mean for Jamaicans?
When the Bill is further amended by the Senate and become law, in the Medium Term, it'll result in Jamaicans buying the smartphone outright, having them unlocked and sent back home to be used by fellow Jamaicans on Telecom Provider LIME or Telecom Provider Digicel's Network.
It won't result in price drops though, as clearly by forcing you to buy the smartphone outright at such high prices create a very high wall to climb to Freedom. But at least it’s freedom from being locked up for unlocking your smartphone!