Now all cellphones will be unlocked for free in Canada, new ones to come unlocked

Canadians pay a some highest wireless rates in any G7 country, and to make an already difficult situation even worse, they frequently need to spend $50 or more to unlock cellphones when switching operators.

However, the country’s wireless regulator, the CRTC, has now requested bearers to unlock gadgets for nothing and announced that all new smartphones must be sold unlocked. The move was incited by open feedback on unlocking charges after the CRTC asked for input on new wireless standards.

“That’s called a ‘Ransom Fee’ or ‘Hostage Fee’ in any other business,” one person wrote, as noted by the CBC. “It is unbelievable how the government allows these companies to extort money like this!” Telecoms made $37.7 million CAD ($28.5 million) in unlocking charges, a bounce of 75 percent since 2014.

Carriers couldn’t help contradicting the CRTC, saying “we think it’s a lot more appropriate that people who actually have their device unlocked bear the cost of the unlocking,” said Rogers VP Howard Slawner. He neglected to say, however, that carriers are the ones that secure gadgets in the first place, and in any case, the CRTC is restricting that, as well.

With another federal government set up, Canada’s CRTC is by all accounts supporting more friendly web laws.

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