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Chairman Response Regarding Cell Unlocking

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Released: July 1, 2014
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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS

COMMISSION

WASHINGTON

OFFICE OF

THE CHAIRMAN

June 17, 2014

The Honorable Richard Blumenthal

United States Senate

724 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Blumenthal:

Thank you for your letter asking for an update on the Commission's efforts to protect

consumer choice in the secondary market for used mobile devices, specifically as it relates to the

process for third-pmiy resellers to unlock phones. I agree with you that consumers benefit from

mobile device resale opportunities, and I am committed to supporting business that want to

engage in the legitimate resale of second-hand devices. Apparently, some providers seem to link

the bulk resale of devices with theft and fraud and this may affect the ability ofthird-party

resellers to unlock phones.

As I indicated to CTIA in my letter in November 2013, I expect the wireless industry to

resolve device unlocking issues without the need for regulation. Consistent with my focus on

voluntary industry activity to promote competition and consumer choice, I have included device

resellers in the discussion on deterring theft and fraudulent resale of mobile devices that will take

place at the Commission this week. If, however, the industry cannot resolve these issues on its

own, I am open to exploring a mlemaking in this area, as the National Telecommunications &

Information Association encouraged us to do.

I appreciate your concern on this impmiant issue and look forward to working with you,

Congress, artd all stakeholders to protect consumers' interests and choices in the secondary

market.

Smccrely/4 ~)­

&

eeler

image02-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS

COMMISSION

WASHINGTON

OFFICE OF

THE CH A IRM A N

June 17, 2014

The Honorable Mark Warner

United States Senate

475 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Warner:

Thank you for your letter asking for an update on the Commission's efforts to protect

consumer choice in the secondary market for used mobile devices, specifically as it relates to the

process for third-party resellers to unlock phones. I agree with you that consumers benefit from

mobile device resale opportunities, and I am committed to supporting business that want to

engage in the legitimate resale of second-hand devices. Apparently, some providers seem to link

the bulk resale of devices with theft and fraud and this may affect the ability of third-party

resellers to unlock phones.

As I indicated to CTIA in my letter in November 2013, I expect the wireless industry to

resolve device unlocking issues without the need for regulation. Consistent with my focus on

voluntary industry activity to promote competition and consumer choice, I have included device

resellers in the discussion on deterring theft and fraudulent resale of mobile dev\ces that will take

place at the Conunission this week. If, however, the industry cannot resolve these issues on its

own, I am open to exploring a rulemaking in this area, as the National Telecommunications &

Information Association encouraged us to do.

I appreciate your concern on this important issue and look forward to working with you,

Congress, and all stakeholders to protect consumers' interests and choices in the secondary

market.

Tom Wheeler

image03-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL CoMMUNICATIONs

CoMMISSION

WASHINGTON

OFFI C E OF

T HE C H A IRM AN

June 17, 2014

The Honorable Ed Markey

United States Senate

218 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Markey:

Thank you for yom letter asking for an update on the Commission's efforts to protect

consumer choice in the secondary market for used mobile devices, specifically as it relates to the

process for third-party resellers to unlock phones. I agree with you that consumers benefit from

mobile device resale opportunities, and I am committed to supporting business that want to

engage in the legitimate resale of second-hand devices. Apparently, some providers seem to link

the bulk resale of devices with theft and fraud and this may affect the ability of third-party

resellers to unlock phones.

As I indicated to CTIA in my letter in November 2013, I expect the wireless industry to

resolve device unlocking issues without the need for regulation. Consistent with my focus on

voluntary industry activity to promote competition and consumer choice, I have included device

resellers in the discussion on deterring theft and fraudulent resale of mobile devices that will take

place at the Commission this week. If, however, the industry cannot resolve these issues on its

own, I am open to exploring a rulemaking in this area, as the National Telecommunications &

. Information Association encomaged us to do.

I appreciate yom concern on this important issue and look forward to working with you,

Congress, and all stakeholders to protect consumers' interests and choices in the secondary

market.

image04-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS

COMMISSION

WASHINGTON

OFFICE OF

THE CHA IR MAN

June 17, 2014

The Honorable Amy Klobuchar

United States Senate

302 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Klobuchar:

Thank you for your letter asking for an update on the Commission's efforts to protect

consumer choice in the secondary market for used mobile devices, specifically as it relates to. the

process for third-pmiy resellers to unlock phones. I agree with you that consumers benefit from

mobile device resale opportunities, and I am committed to supporting business that want to

engage in the legitimate resale of second-hand devices. Apparently, some providers seem to link

the bulk resale of devices with theft and fraud and this may affect the ability of third-party

resellers to unlock phones.

As I indicated to CTIA in my letter in November 2013, I expect the wireless industry to

resolve device unlocking issues without the need for regulation. Consistent with my focus on

volw1tary industîy activity to promote competition and consumer choice, I have included device

resellers in the discussion on deterring theft and fraudulent resale of mobile devices that will take

place at the Commission this week. If, however, the industry callllot resolve these issues on its

own, I am open to exploring a rulemaking in this area, as the National Telecommunications &

Information Association encouraged us to do.

I appreciate your concern on this important issue and look forward to working with you,

Congress, and all stakeholders to protect consumers' interests and choices in the .secondary

market.

Sincerely');

~eeler

image05-00.jpg612x792

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS

COMMISSION

WASHINGTON

OFFICE OF

THE CHA I RMAN

June 17, 2014

The Honorable Cory Booker

United States Senate

141 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Booker:

Thank you for your letter asking for an update on the Commission's efforts to protect

consumer choice in the secondary market for used mobile devices, specifically as it relates to the

process for third~pmiy resellers to unlock phones. I agree with you that consumers benefit from

mobile device resale opportunities, and I am committed to suppotiing business that want to

engage in the legitimate resale of second-hand devices. Apparently, some providers seem to link

the bulk resale of devices with theft and fraud and this may affect the ability of third-party

resellers to unlock phones.

As I indicated to CTIA in my letter in November 2013, I expect the wireless industry to

resolve device unlocking issues without the need for regulation. Consistent with my focus on

voluntary industry activity to promote competition and consumer choice, I have included device

resellers in the discussion on deterring theft and fraudulent resale of mobile devices that will take

place at the Commission this week. If, however, the industry cannot resolve these issues on its

own, I am open to exploring a rulemaking in this area, as the National Telecommunications &

Information Association encouraged us to do.

I appreciate your concern on this important issue and look forwm·d to working with you,

Congress, and all stakeholders to protect consumers' interests and choices in the secondary

market.

7i;/1t~

Tom Wheeler

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