Network locks are bad news for consumers. Network locks, sometimes called “SIM locks” are used by phone companies to restrict consumer choice. SIM locks prevent you from switching cell phone providers as well as changing out SIM cards to travel abroad, thus making sure you have to pay the costly roaming fees.
No Freedom for Canadian Cell Phone Users
More than 2,000 cell phone users have signed an online petition to support changing the Canadian law. A new bill was introduced by MP Bruce Hyer in the House of Commons on June 17th, which levels the playing field for the Canadian cell phone customer. If passed, the new law would allow consumers to have their phones “unlocked” so that they can choose which service provider they want, regardless of where they bought their phone.
The Cell Phone Freedom Act mandates that:
• Consumers buying new cell phones in Canada must be informed of the existence of any network lock on their phone before sale.
• Phone companies must unlock handsets upon request, free of charge, when a consumer purchases a new phone outright without a contract, or any time after purchase.
• Phone companies must unlock handsets upon request, free of charge, when a consumer comes to the end of their contract or at any time thereafter.
The House is in summer recess and MPs won‘t be back in Ottawa until Sept. 20th. This means the bill won’t likely be considered for second reading until after the first of the year. But it’s a start! Perhaps after Canada has a law in place like this, the US will follow.
Paying full price for a cell phone or fulfilling a service contract should mean you can use your phone wherever you want. Step up for the freedom you deserve! If you are Canadian, you can sign the online petition at Don’t Lock My Freedom.