said by PhilAIV: said by fiberguy:
some providers won't even let you sign up with your own phone with out a "contract"..
The company this senator is referring to (Verizon Wireless) does in fact allow people to sign up without a contract, but most people don't want to pay full retail for a phone or don't have one laying around therefore they sign a contract.
But they sometimes disallow you from bringing your own phone to their network even if it was already on Verizon. Some stores take a dim view of allowing you to buy a phone off eBay and get service with them.