New Law Proposal Mandates Contract-Free Cell Phones

Engadget has a report on the generically-named Wireless Consumer Protection and Community Broadband Empowerment Act.

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According to the report, the bill, which is currently on the House and Senate floor and is sponsored by Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey, would require carriers to “sell contract-free phones, provide rate plan information in a clear, plain, and conspicuous manner, disclose any phone subsidies hidden in the plan’s price, and offer price-comparable plans with no subsidy or early termination fee.”

In English, the report explains that the bill means we’d finally know exactly how much a plan would really cost every month including taxes and fees. It would also be easier to see how much devices like the iPhone are actually marked up, and “most importantly, it’d be way easier to switch carriers to get better deals.” This all sounds just great, which is why we’re not expecting the bill to be passed as such.