Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate have introduced legislation which aims to make it legal to unlock a cell phone from a network carrier.
The bipartisan legislation comes in the wake of recent comments from the White House which urged Congress to look into legalising the unlocking of cell phones.
According to the bill's co-authors, legalising unlocked cell phones will aid in consumer choice and help US competition in the market.
"Consumers who have purchased a mobile device, and aren't bound by a service contract, should be able to use it on another network," Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said in a statement.
"This legislation is common sense, crucial for protecting consumer choice, and important for ensuring healthy competition in the market."
If passed, the bill would require the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) to order US wireless carriers to permit the unlocking of mobile handsets. Under the terms of the proposed legislation, cell phone users will be allowed to unlock their mobile phone from their carrier after their contract is up.
The proposed bill comes follow a recent petition which urged the White House to comment on the legality of unlocked cell phones. Following the petition, the White House came out and said that it believed the unlocking of cell phones should be a legal action.
Prior to last month, US law dictated that consumer's could unlock their handset without a network operator's permission during the first 90-days of purchase.
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