Android Police: Locked phones and unlocking fees will be banned in Canada starting December 1st
Here in the US, unlocking policies are pretty lackluster. Sure, they've improved over time, but these regulations still aren't something we can be proud of. But up in the Great White North, the CRTC (Canada's telecom commission) is hard at work. Starting on December 1st, 2017, all mobile devices will have the capability of being unlocked for free, and all new devices will be unlocked out of the box.
Getting a phone unlocked is still pretty complex stateside. Surprisingly, Verizon is actually doing the best with this out of all four major US carriers, with its phones having come factory unlocked for several years now (because it was forced to by the FCC in exchange for rolling Band 13 LTE out). But with other carriers, it's still a bit of a problem. For instance, with T-Mobile, if you don't satisfy their eligibility requirements (at least 40 days on the line, must be fully paid off). You can't even pay a third party to unlock some of their phones since the process is done through a T-Mobile app.
Canada, on the other hand, is making it a lot easier. The CRTC has updated its Wireless Code, a "mandatory code of conduct for providers of retail mobile wireless voice and data services" that was created in 2013. Carriers will now be required to unlock any mobile devices for free upon request, and any new devices sold after 12/1/17 will have to be unlocked before they even reach your maple syrup-covered hands. Additionally, customers who want to cancel their contract can do so within 15 days now free of charge, as long as the phone is in "near-new" condition and less than half of the monthly usage limits have been reached.
The CRTC also clarified a few other things: only the account holder can consent to extra data charges by default, but carriers can authorize other users to do so. Plus, the data charge caps are based on the account, not the amount of devices on the account.
Now, if the US could follow suit, that'd be great.
By Richard Gao