I think you are referring to a recent ruling by the FCC that mandates that carriers of similar technology (for example: Verizon and Sprint on CDMA or At&t and T-mobile on GSM) to allow more open access to smaller carriers at a "fair price". Problem is that they did not define what a "fair price" is exactly. Doesn't mean you can use a Sprint phone on T-mobile or vice versa because they are using incompatible networks.
I heard a rumor that there might be a new law soon which forces service providers to work on all phones. So I won't have to be limited to the phones that a particular provider sells.
Is anyone else familiar with this?