Cell Phone Freedom Act (Bill C-343)
The Cell Phone Freedom Act was introduced on June 17, 2010 in the Canadian House of Commons as Bill C-560 by Bruce Hyer, then the New Democratic Party Small Business Critic and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North.
Bill C-560 was expired due to the government's defeat in March 2011. Hyer reintroduced the Cell Phone Freedom Act under the new session of parliament on November 3, 2011, as Bill C-343.
The Wireless codes states that:
- wireless phone companies must unlock handsets upon request, at a rate specified by the provider, when a consumer purchases a new phone outright (unsubsidized) without a contract;
- wireless phone companies must unlock handsets upon request, at a rate specified by the provider, when a consumer comes to the end of their contract, or at any time thereafter.
Under the proposed legislation, wireless service providers may still employ such locks on customer phones while under contract, so it is unlikely to impact the common practice of offering subsidized phones on contracts. As per the Wireless code F1: Unlocking: A service provider that provides a locked device to the customer as part of a contract must for subsidized devices: unlock the device, or give the customer the means to unlock the device, upon request, at the rate specified by the service provider, no later than 90 calendar days after the contract start date. Or for unsubsidized devices: unlock the device, or give the customer the means to unlock the device, at the rate specified by the service provider, upon request.
On December 15, 2010, Rogers Communications announced they would start offering to unlock all of their customers handsets for a flat fee of $50, in response to public pressure on the issue. The other two major national carriers, Bell and Telus (and its sub-brands Koodo Mobile and Virgin Mobile), have followed suit provided that the device operates on their network as well as having a postpaid account for at least 90 days. Other new carriers such as Wind Mobile already sell locked devices (and offer to unlock for $30 after 3 months of service).
- Bill C-560 http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=4640240&Language=e&Mode=1
- Bill C-343 http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=5218290
- "Telus to start unlocking its phones". CBC. February 7, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
- LaSalle, LuAnn (February 7, 2011). "Telus to offer service to unlock phones". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
- Hardy, Ian (May 31, 2012). "TELUS will now unlock your iPhone for $50 (starts June 1st)". MobileSyrup. Retrieved 2012-06-08.
- Wind Mobile FAQ: How do I unlock my phone?, retrieved 2014-10-02