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The FCC wants to make it easier to unlock cellphones

Illustration of an iPhone showing its lock screen on a pink and blue background.
Image: Samar Haddad / The Verge

The chair of the Federal Communications Commission proposed a new rule that could make it easier for consumers to unlock their cellphones. The proposed regulation, which the agency announced on Thursday, would require mobile providers to unlock consumers’ phones within 60 days of activation.

Under current regulations, consumers who want to unlock their phone — as in, freeing up a phone so it can move from one network to another — are at the mercy of their service provider. Per the FCC, consumers who want to unlock their device should contact their service provider to find out when and how their phone can be unlocked. To then unlock a device, a consumer must be in “good standing” with their provider, meaning their phone must be paid off…

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