The FCC say the “ban raises competition concerns; it raises innovation concerns” and this view is shared by most of the internet. While the carriers would love to keep your devices locked onto their service, many users hate the fact they will never be able to sell a fully unlocked phone.
For people that do not live in the US, this problem will not affect you. In the UK, for example, it is quite easy to pick up an unlocked smartphone as soon as it comes out, albeit you will have to pay quite a bit of money for the device.
Users who try to unlock their smartphone will be fined and many small unlocking places have been run out of business by this decision, although they were not that big anyway.
With Julius Genachowski, head of the FCC, saying they will be looking into this matter and if they have any authority over the situation, it is likely they will reverse this new law and make sure competition is fair.
The original call for the government to check into this law came from the 100,000+ users that went onto We The People to start a petition. Once the petition hits 50,000, the government has to respond with a solution or a reason why the change is not possible.
While the walls of this law begin to crumble, it is just another show of how much the carriers in the US want to keep you onto their service, and the amount of money they will spend to make you leave impossible. With 2 year contracts on devices the norm nowadays, it is almost intolerable not to be able to unlock your smartphone afterwards.