Wireless Broadband

End the lockdown of mobile devices.

If I bought a computer, I would expect to be able to utilize all the functionality of that computer. Why are phones different?

Many phones have GPS receivers built in. Many of these are disabled by the carriers. You may re-enable the receivers by paying a monthly fee to the carrier. That is wrong.

The same is true for applications. Many carriers only allow applications that have been signed by them to be installed on my phone. This practice allows the carrier to charge the application developer a signing fee.

Both of these practices put the brakes on innovation in the US Mobile market.


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Similar Ideas [ 5 ]


  1. Comment

    I agree.

    Full price phones for everybody. Get rid of the undocumented phone subsidy. If I use my old phone, I shouldn't be paying for somebody else to have a new phone. I should be able to pay full price for my own phone and choose a simple model or a smartphone and use it on any (compatible) network.

    Why should I have to get a new phone every two years just to take advantage of some built in equipment price support.

    Yes it will mean a higher up-front equipment cost for consumers like me, but that's the way we want it.

  2. Comment
    jeffcityjon ( Idea Submitter )

    While I am unhappy with the terms of most agreement plans for new/renewed service, I do not think the government should attempt to juristic these deals. We are a capitalistic market. They may offer whatever perks they want to attract new customers.

    I just want full control of the device that I own.

    When my carrier controls which apps I can install or disables settings it's like Ford controlling what brand of gasoline I put in my car.

  3. Comment

    I agree with your goal, but not your statement about political philosophy. We are not a pure capitalist system; regulation is necessary for the public good. You are asking for regulation -- understand that. You are asking the FCC to forbid carriers from locking down phones. I agree. Carriers, like all companies, do whatever they can to lock in their customers and create a walled garden. That's why we need to keep the pressure on about this issue, net neutrality, and anything else that companies want to do to restrict free and open access to all apps and content on every platform. Especially one receiving federal funding!

  4. Comment
    Michael Sullivan

    Computers often have functionality in them that is turned off, initially, and is only enabled with an update, new driver, or new operating system. For that matter, it has sometimes been necessary to buy additional third-party programs to use the full potential of one's computer hardware. Back in the 1980s and 1990s one needed to buy software to take advantage of your computer's ability to recognize memory above a fixed limit, or to switch between tasks. In the current decade, it has become necessary to upgrade software or buy third-party software to take advantage of multiple processors, multi-core processors, and 64-bit processors.

    Also, many computers' chips have capabilities that have been specifically turned off forever -- the chips are functionally identical to more expensive chips, but have features disabled to sell at a lower price.