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AT&T says cell phone unlocking doesn't need government intervention, it already unlocks devices

News by Andrew Kameka on Friday March 08, 2013.

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Though cell phone unlocking has been a big topic this week following the White House and FCC expressing support for switching phones between carriers, AT&T says customers need not worry about changes to U.S. laws because it will unlock smartphones. AT&T's Joan Marsh writes on the company's Public Policy blog:

"While we think the Librarian's careful decision was reasonable, the fact is that it has very little impact on AT&T customers. As we make clear on our website, if we have the unlock code or can reasonably get it from the manufacturer, AT&T currently will unlock a device for any customer whose account has been active for at least sixty days; whose account is in good standing and has no unpaid balance; and who has fulfilled his or her service agreement commitment. If the conditions are met we will unlock up to five devices per account per year. We will not unlock devices that have been reported lost or stolen. "

AT&T contends that any potential legislation would have no affect on its customers because it has already implemented the policies that the recent unlock petition seeks to make law. The accuracy of that assumption is questionable because AT&T's five device annual cap still places restrictions on unlocking, and the company has not always made the unlock process simple.

Under its current policy, AT&T customers can submit requests to have their iPhone unlocked online, call 1-800-331-0500, or visit a corporate-owned AT&T store to have the device unlocked.

source: AT&T

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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