Canada Bans Carrier Locked Phones Starting December 1st

Canadians are waking up to good news this morning.  The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has ruled that starting December 1, 2017, all phones sold in the country are to be unlocked and carriers are banned from locking them to their network.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that as of December 1, 2017, all individual and small business wireless service customers will have the right to have their cellphones and other mobile devices unlocked free of charge upon request. In addition, all newly purchased devices must be provided unlocked from that day forward.

Canada mobile users pay some of the highest tariffs when it comes to mobile data usage and the ruling is aimed at creating competition between the carriers and to allow customers to more easily move from carrier-to-carrier to get the best deal.  This should, hopefully, have the knock-on effect of driving costs down for consumers.

In Canada, if you want to get your phone unlocked, it can cost upwards of $50 to be done.  Unlocking is a bit of a cash cow for carriers and this ruling will put an end to it starting December 1st.

Also part of the ruling is that a consumer can return a device in near-new condition within 15 days to a carrier if they are not satisfied and have at least 1/2 of their data plan remaining for that month.

The ruling is a big win for consumers in the country and is the second big consumer friendly change in regulations this week globally.  Earlier this week, the EU banned all roaming fees between countries which should lower the costs to consumers traveling from country-to-country in the Union.

You can read more about the ruling on the CRTC website.

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