Username Post: NDP bill aims to unlock cellphones        (Topic#257271)
06-18-10 01:24 PM - Post#650190    

Last Updated: Thursday, June 17, 2010 | 2:50 PM ET

By Peter Nowak, CBC News

Hot on the heels of Apple announcing it will sell unlocked iPhones in Canada, an NDP MP has introduced a resolution that would force cellphone carriers to do the same with all the devices they sell.

Bruce Hyer, the MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North, on Thursday tabled Bill C-560, the cellphone freedom act. The bill proposes three rules: cellphone carriers would be required to notify customers at the point of purchase whether a phone is locked to work only on their network; they would have to remove such a lock free of charge at any point after the conclusion of the customer's service contract; and they would have to remove it if the customer does not enter into a contract within six months of buying the device up front.

"Mobile phone customers should have the freedom to choose whether they want to be locked into a company's cell network or not," Hyer said in a statement.

"Right now, most consumers don't even know they [can] switch to another network without throwing out their phone and buying a new one, or trying to unlock their handset at some expensive aftermarket shop. Many resort to trying to download complicated instructions off the internet, but these can result in dead phones if used improperly."

Hyer also launched a "Don't Lock My Freedom" website in conjunction with the bill.

Canada's major wireless carriers typically sell mobile devices locked to their network on top of multi-year contracts. Some carriers have said this is to ensure that the devices work properly on their network, so they can support them if problems occur.

Some compatibility issues remain

Switching carriers and using the same phone was generally not an issue until recently since Canada's big three providers used different technologies. However, Bell and Telus launched a new network last year that is largely similar to the Rogers network, so most newer phones will work on all three.

Some compatibility obstacles still remain as Canada's new wireless companies — Wind, Moblicity and Public Mobile — have networks that run on different frequencies from Bell, Rogers and Telus. The new companies, however, don't offer phones with contracts tied to them and require customers to pay the full cost up front.

Some phone manufacturers are beginning to push against locks imposed by carriers. In January, internet giant Google began selling its Nexus One phone directly to consumers online, unlocked and without a carrier contract. Apple is now doing the same in Canada with its wildly successful iPhone, which is also available locked and with a contract through Bell, Rogers, Telus and their subsidiaries.

The federal government's recently introduced copyright reform legislation, Bill C-32, seeks to enshrine consumers' rights to unlock their mobile devices, an act that is already perfectly legal. Consumer advocates have said Canada needs to go further with laws such as those prescribed in Bill C-560.

A number of countries have instituted such legal obligations, ranging from requiring the carrier to unlock phones immediately when asked by a customer to doing so at the conclusion of term contracts. Some countries, such as Singapore, outlaw locking phones entirely.

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As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular - Oscar Wilde

Jay Funk Dawg
World Idol
06-18-10 02:20 PM - Post#650216    

    In response to nibbler

This is great news, still Canadians pay more for their cell phones than anywhere else in the world!


06-21-10 03:11 PM - Post#650434    

    In response to Jay Funk Dawg

Actually, it's no news. MP's can introduce as many Private Member's Bills as they want, but the odds of them even being debated, let alone passed, is close to nil. It basically comes down to a draw, and the MP who introduced this actually drew a good # but already tabled a different Bill.

The NDP is great at making people think they're doing something when in reality they are not.

It's Monday, so why not a little NDP hate eh kids? fuÇk 'em.

Hux Sux

World Idol
06-21-10 03:58 PM - Post#650436    

    In response to Hux

CBC news = news to me
congrats on your opportunity to dis the NDP's though
Weld long enough, cut yourself, and you'll bleed flux!

06-22-10 06:47 AM - Post#650467    

    In response to bONES

At least not liberals Hux.
Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today

World Idol
06-22-10 07:56 AM - Post#650469    

    In response to tigger

Cell phone service in Canada is appalling. Welcome to the 2nd world...
"...there are doors that they're afraid to go in, and they don't want us to in there either, because if we go in, we might learn something that they don't know, and that makes us a little bit out of control."
-Terrence McKenna
I'm Canerican; yeah, I'm going pro.

06-22-10 02:58 PM - Post#650528    

    In response to YearsAlongTheSea

cellphones should be banned
let's have a kiki

World Idol
06-22-10 03:01 PM - Post#650529    

    In response to phishtaper

  • phishtaper Said:
cellphones should be banned

Newbaccas Binaca
World Idol
06-23-10 12:16 AM - Post#650597    

    In response to ollie

Prohibition never solves anything.

Free Landlines would be better.
keep on,

06-23-10 08:32 AM - Post#650609    

    In response to Hux

  • Hux Said:
The NDP is great at making people think they're doing something when in reality they are not.

The NDP is Politicians are great at making people think they're doing something when in reality they are not.

"Politics is the entertainment branch of industry" - Frank Zappa

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular - Oscar Wilde

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