Today, Public Knowledge joined Consumer Reports and New America’s Open Technology Institute in filing comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s proceeding considering the state of competition in the communications marketplace.
Phone locking, the controversial practice of using software locks to restrict a phone to just one carrier, has major effects on competition, disproportionately harms low-income consumers, creates e-waste, and frustrates users looking to switch carriers. Public Knowledge urges the agency to thoroughly report on phone locking as part of its upcoming 2022 Communications Marketplace Report to help create a competitive, more affordable mobile device market. In the filing, Public Knowledge also asks the Commission to continue a balanced spectrum policy that makes large, contiguous blocks of spectrum available for a diverse range of uses, including on an unlicensed and “license by rule” basis.
The following can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Legal Director at Public Knowledge:
“The FCC’s competition reports provide valuable insight into how the Commission views the marketplace, and inform broadband policymakers more generally.
“Phone locking creates many problems for wireless users, and several countries have either banned the practice or mandated that unlocking be automatic. In these comments, we ask the Commission to report more thoroughly on whether the practice of locking phones to specific carriers raises costs for consumers, and creates a barrier to entry for smaller providers.
“We also ask the Commission to continue its balanced spectrum policies, which are vital for competition.”
You may view the comments for more information.
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-249-9435.