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Google back ‘sensible’ repair legislation

Google is endorsing Oregon’s proposed Right to Repair legislation while also releasing its first white paper on the topic.

‘We applaud the efforts of Oregon state senator Janeen Sollman in advancing a commonsense repair bill,’ says Steven Nickel, Google’s devices and services director of operations. ‘This legislation represents an inclusive compromise that brings tech companies, small repair companies, environmental leaders and legislators to the table to find common ground and support the repair movement.’

More harmony and collaboration would be a ‘win’ for consumers, the environment and companies and Nickel hopes more states will follow suit.

‘To fully illustrate our commitment, we are releasing a white paper. It lays out our approach to repair and offers principles that thoughtful regulation might consider.’

Nickel says it is Google’s mission to make the world’s information accessible and useful to everyone. The same goes for the devices used to access this information because extending their lifecycle helps people save money while also reducing waste.

Furthermore, Google encourages sustainability in manufacturing. ‘Repair must be easy enough for anyone to do, whether they are technicians or do-it-yourselfers,’ Nickel notes. ‘This requires that, as manufacturers, we design products in a manner that enables simple, safe, and correct repairs wherever and by whomever they are done. This is what we call design for serviceability.’

This means asking designers to consider how to take apart and reassemble these devices efficiently, and with a minimum of parts. Realising this requires a ‘real dialogue’ across the entire engineering team.

‘While we still have more work to do, we are proud to make the decision to prioritise longevity and repair in the devices that we produce.’

What has Google done so far?

  • Reduced the cost and number of repair tools required for devices, making them available online for anyone to purchase.
  • Launched an on-device Diagnostic App to help users test device functionality before and after repairs.
  • Redesigned repair manuals. Increasing the visibility of repair-related resources on Help Pages, including details on parts and diagnostic tests.
  • Partnered with independent repair providers, like uBreakiFix, to provide more than 700 locations across the US
  • Offered the option of sending used phones back to Google for repair. This can be done directly through Google or a mobile service provider or local independent repair network.

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