PREPARED STATEMENT OF FCC MIGNON L. CLYBURN
ON THE AGREEMENT OF WIRELESS CARRIERS TO UNLOCK CELLPHONES
DECEMBER 12, 2013
I am pleased that CTIA, the four largest nationwide wireless carriers, and U.S. Cellular have
voluntarily committed to pro-consumer cellphone unlocking policies. I especially commend those
carriers that demonstrated leadership on this issue, by adopting cellphone unlocking policies, long before
today’s announcement. I am confident other wireless service providers will sign on to the agreement.
Wireless carriers should be able to enforce their valid customer contracts. But I also believe that
the provisions in those contracts need to be grounded in common sense. Consumers, who satisfy the
terms of their contracts, should not be subject to civil and criminal penalties if they want to take their
device to a new carrier.
Earlier this year, 114,000 people spoke loudly when they signed a petition asking the White
House to legalize cellphone unlocking, demonstrating that this issue is too important to consumers for us
to not find a solution. That is why, in August of this year, I issued a statement calling on FCC staff, the
wireless industry, and other stakeholders to redouble their efforts toward an industry wide cellphone
unlocking solution that best serves the public interest.
I applaud Chairman Wheeler for sending a letter that emphasized his support for a policy that
included the consumer's right to be informed about unlocking eligibility. It was also great to see that the
industry additionally committed to unlock phones sold to prepaid customers no later than one year after
initial activation, consistent with reasonable usage requirements.
I want to thank Michael Janson and Pramesh Jobanputra for the presentation.