A last minute change to the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act has caused the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) to withdraw its backing of the bill and make a stand about how the new legislation hurts US recyclers and refurbishers. The new bill – which now explicitly prohibits unlocking of cell phones “for the purpose of bulk resale” – was recently passed 295 to 114 by the house.
The bill is now due to go before the senate and the ISRI is petitioning for an amendment to be made to allow the mass unlocking of mobile phones, or to at least open up the debate surrounding the policies in place in the U.S covering bulk unlocking of mobile phones. The ISRI believes the current bill will harm recyclers and mobile phone refurbishers in the United States and will see business diverted overseas where it is currently legal to unlock mobile phones for bulk resale.
The original bill inferred that the bulk purchase of used phones – and subsequent unlocking in bulk – would be permissible, creating a worldwide market for the used phones and contributing significantly to electronic recycling targets.
However the bill was changed to prevent the resale of stolen mobile phones, with many believing the alteration of the bill being a reasonable measure to make it harder for criminals to sell on stolen equipment. It is hoped that the bill can be reworked to ensure that the U.S recycling industry can take full advantage of the huge market for recycling and refurbishing phones in the U.S and be allowed to operate in a cost effective manner to remain competitive.hebrew russian translation