The statement below may be attributed to Carri Bennet, RTG’s General Counsel.
The Rural Telecommunications Group, Inc. (RTG) applauds Chairman Julius Genachowski’s announcement earlier today that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) is examining the decision of the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress to reverse its longstanding position regarding a customer’s ability to unlock his or her cellphone. In its October 22, 2012 decision, the Library of Congress ruled that consumers violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and are subject to criminal penalties, if they unlock mobile phones purchased after January 26, 2013.
The Chairman said the Library of Congress’ decision “raises serious competition and innovation concerns, and for wireless consumers, it doesn’t pass the common sense test.” RTG supports Chairman Genachowski’s depiction of the decision and looks forward to the Commission or Congress opening a formal proceeding to explore the issue in greater detail. RTG has long supported the ability of consumers to unlock their cellphones and applauds the Commission for taking steps to ensure consumer rights continue to be protected. RTG hopes the FCC will also consider the difficulty rural carriers will face if they are expected, before initiating service, to police consumers to ensure their cellphones were not illegally unlocked.
About RTG – Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Rural Telecommunications Group, Inc. (RTG) is a trade association representing rural wireless carriers who each serve less than 100,000 subscribers. RTG’s members have joined together to speed delivery of new, efficient and innovative telecommunications technologies to remote and underserved communities. ruraltelecomgroup.org