The issue of unlocking cell phones has been receiving a lot of press lately. Despite some recent objections from the White House, under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act it is still illegal to unlock a cell phone without prior consent from a wireless carrier. And on Friday, AT&T (T) went on record and reaffirmed its commitment to unlocking smartphones if certain requirements are met.
Joan Marsh, the company’s vice president of federal regulatory affairs, notes that the recent ruling has “very little impact on AT&T customers.” She goes on to explain that the carrier will unlock smartphones “if we have the unlock code or can reasonably get it from the manufacturer,” adding that AT&T will unlock a device for any customer whose account has been active for at least sixty days, is in good standing, has no unpaid balance and is not locked into a two-year service agreement.
If all of the requirements are met the carrier will unlock up to five devices per account per year.