CNet wrote a very good article on lawsuits regarding early termination fees. What brought this about is that readers have inquired why there are still early termination fees if a court in California ruled them unlawful.
Well, it turns out that the ruling was specific to special circumstances in contracts as it applied to Sprint, no one else. And again, under certain circumstances.
So to make the long story shorter, these termination fees are here to stay. At the very least, the major mobile providers offer pro-rated termination penalties. Here's the bottom line on this matter. As much as I detest some of the closed mindness of the wireless industry, subsidies on phones, smartphones, and mobile devices allow the consumers to purchase top line gadgets without having to pay for it up front and the wireless providers do have the right to learn some of their subsidies back. My only issue is that the services they offer are at times subpar, isn't as advertised, or provide false advertising such as claiming unlimited services up to a point.
Anyway, there are a couple of remedies in the work. I think white spaces backed by a number of tech giants like Google, Dell, and Microsoft are still going forward. Also, the stimulus provisions, though likely won't have much teeth, is better than nothing.