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Congress finally passed a common-sense law about smartphones

Congress finally passed a common-sense law about smartphones
photo courtesy of shutterstock

Not happy with your cellphone service? Then I've got some good news for you. President Obama has agreed to sign a bill into law that gives customers the right to unlock their phones without permission from their carrier.

Currently, many of the smartphones you bought under contract are locked to the carrier you got them from. Even when your contract is up, you have to ask the carrier you purchased the phone from to unlock it legally.

But, this new law will change all of that. It makes it easier for smartphone owners to unlock their gadgets and switch carriers if they want. That's a big deal because locked phones have been a major roadblock for customers trying to switch services to lower bills.

The bill actually got its start on the White House petition site We The People, which lets people post issues they feel strongly about so others can see them and sign the petition. This petition got so much support that it drew the attention of the White House. But, getting the bill passed wasn't easy.

Even after the President came out in support of the bill, significant opposition from well-financed telecommunication lobbies managed to delay and water down the bill in Congress.

The bill's supporters fought against these delays and roadblocks by responding in the media and online. One article in support of the bill got nearly 60,000 Facebook likes. Apparently, it worked, because it managed to move the issue through both houses of Congress, remove some of the watered-down legislation and get each political party to work together.

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Source: VentureBeat
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