Canada Proposes New Legislation To Force Carriers To Unlock Cellphones, The Same Week U.S Makes Cellphone Unlocking “Illegal.”

Canada Proposes New Legislation To Force Carriers To Unlock Cellphones, The Same Week U.S Makes Cellphone Unlocking “Illegal.”


Following the United States Congress introducing a new law on Saturday, which will see U.S cellphone owners legally unable to unlock their cellphones, (even if the handset is out of contract), CBC reports that Canada‘s own telecommunication regulator has this week proposed new draft legislation which will see Canadian carriers not only have to limit the ‘early termination fees’ users are subjected to, but potentially also be (legally) forced to unlock cellphones, under “reasonable terms.”


Some of the proposals of the legislation include:

- Customers receive a personalized summary of key terms and conditions in their contract, such as how much they would pay in cancellation charges at different times during their contract and what tools are available to help them monitor their usage of different services.

- Wireless providers be required to unlock customers’ wireless devices under “reasonable terms.” Options for those terms include fees and time frames.

- Customers be given tools to monitor their usage compared to the limits of their plan in order to be aware of extra fees they might incur if they go above the limits.

- Customers be allowed to restrict features that could incur additional fees, and the ability to specify a cap to their monthly bill. Once the user hits the cap, the service provider would suspend services that could result in extra fees.

- Early termination fees can only include subsidies on the price of phone or other mobile device and discounts the customer received for signing on to a contract of a specific length.


Currently considered “draft code,” it is so far unclear if (or when) the new legislation will be passed. The report concludes by adding that, under the new legislation, wireless providers in the region would ‘still be able to advertise plans with some limits as “unlimited,”’ but would have to “explain whether there are limits to the ‘unlimited’ plan and whether the service provider retains the discretion to move the consumer to a ‘limited ‘ plan if usage limits are exceeded.”