JUNEAU – Wednesday, Senator Forrest Dunbar (D-Anchorage) introduced Senate Bill 112, which seeks to provide Alaskans with access to information and tools to repair digital equipment. Currently, many corporations use proprietary maintenance tools that are not available to the public or independent repair businesses. Repairing electronic and digital equipment can be very costly when only one provider can provide the service, and sometimes forces consumers to buy a newer replacement product rather than fixing what they currently own. By passing Senate Bill 112, Alaska would follow in states like Colorado and New York in adapting legislation that protects individual consumers.
“Alaskans deserve to have full ownership over their digital devices. Hamstringing Alaskans into utilizing one repair service or forcing them to spend more of their hard-earned money on new equipment puts a restraint on consumer freedom and business opportunities within our state,” said Sen. Dunbar. “Many Alaskans prefer fixing their own tractors, phones, watches, or any other product they own that contains digital equipment, and they should maintain the right to do so.”
Senate Bill 112 explicitly outlines that manufacturers of a digital product they produce, sell, or lease must provide independent businesses and consumers with access to information about repairs, repair tools, and the parts necessary to fix digital equipment. The legislation provides an exemption if the manufacturer no longer produces the part in need of repair.
“Most communities in Alaska do not have direct access to authorized dealers or manufacturers of digital products. The ability for Alaskans to repair digital equipment in boats, snow machines, and ATVs that they depend on is crucial to survival in many remote and rural areas of the state,” concluded Sen. Dunbar.
Senate Bill 112 was referred to the Labor & Commerce Committee and the Judiciary Committee.