The device is useful, and Verizon is holding it up as "unsexy, but exactly the sort of real and useful device that shows how our ODI program works. Now don't regulate us."
OTOH, companies are less willing when it strikes closer to home. TracFone, for example, is leading the charge to stop people from altering their phones so they can attach to other networks.
As the article acknowledges, going in and unlocking one's phones is one of the few exceptions to the DMCA's anti-circumvention restrictions. But this has not stopped TracFone from using other aspects of copyright law and trademark law to go after these dealers (called "traffickers") despite the first sale doctrine and the DMCA exemption.
So no offense to Verizon, but I prefer to have my rights guaranteed by law, not left to the mercy of profit-maximizing firms that will, rightly, place their corporate profits over any other measure of social utility or personal freedom.