FCC Adopts Sustainable Affordable Inmate Calling Rates


The FCC has adopted an Order on Reconsideration intended to ensure that inmate calling service rates are just, reasonable, and fair for inmates and their families while ensuring prisons and providers are fairly compensated for the costs of providing the service. This Order responds to issues raised in the inmate calling service reforms proceeding and modestly increases the rate caps set in 2015, which were blocked by a court stay pending appeal. The FCC believes that this modest increase in the rate caps, which is lower than the 2013 rate cap, is warranted to cover the legitimate costs of prisons and will ensure the continued availability and development of inmate calling services while still resulting in significant savings for inmates and their families. The FCC states that the new caps will govern both in-state and interstate calling, reducing the price for most inmates of an average 15-minute call by nearly 35 percent. The FCC also notes that the inmate calling rate cap functions as a ceiling, not a floor, and does not prevent states from further reducing rates where calling costs are lower.

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