Cellphone freedom of choice?

Apple has led the way with the iPhone in Canada. Apple has announced that it will sell unlocked iPhones in Canada! Now a Member of Parliament, Bruce Hyer for Thunder Bay-Superior North has tabled Bill C-560. This is known as the Cellphone Freedom Act.

The act will force cellphone carriers comply with three rules:

  1. The cellphone carriers would be required to notify customers at the point of purchase whether a phone is locked to work only on their network.
  2. The carrier would have to remove such a lock free of charge at any point after the conclusion of the customer's service contract.
  3. The carrier would have to remove it if the customer does not enter into a contract within six months of buying the device up front.

Most wireless carriers sell their mobile devices locked to their network and as well have contracts that the purchaser is locked into. It wasn't such a big issue when the providers used different technologies. That has changed. If you buy a newer phone now it will likely work equally well with Bell, Telus or Rogers.

In January, Google began selling its Nexus One phone directly to consumers online, unlocked and without a carrier contract. Now Apple is now doing the same in Canada with its iPhone. The iPhone is also available locked and with a contract through Bell, Rogers, Telus and their subsidiaries.

Bill C-32 seeks to protect consumers' rights to unlock their mobile devices. The proposed Bill C-560 is taking this a step further. Let's hope the cry comes through the internet soon, "Freedom, freedom at last!"

Click here for the website set up to help promote this change in Canada. Check it out!