Canada has just banned cellphone unlocking fees and will require carriers to sell only unlocked models of phones. This was announced by the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications) on Thursday.
For years, Canadian customers were forced to pay unlocking fees if they chose to go with another wireless carrier. This would occur despite the customer having paid in full for the phone or the contract being fulfilled. The change was put into effect when the CRTC reviewed its wireless code earlier in the year and invited the public to submit their input online. Naturally, being charged $50 by their carrier to unlock a handset they owned was not popular, and many did not have kind words.
During a CRTC hearing that was held in February, some of the major carriers in Canada supported their unlocking fees and stated that if they weren't able to charge customers for the service, that "the cost would have to be passed on to everyone".
While the decision has been made, the new policy will not go into effect until December 1. It's at this point that customers will be able to ask carriers to unlock their device for free and will be able to purchase handsets that are already unlocked.