EPIC Urges FCC to Aggressively Regulate Prison Phone Industry

June 6, 2023

In a second round of comments on the FCC’s implementation of the Martha Wright-Reed Act, EPIC urged the agency to adopt rules that would minimize the costs prison phone providers can pass on to consumers and maximize the impact of the rulemaking. The Martha Wright-Reed Act of 2022 directs the FCC to more aggressively regulate prison phone providers to lower prices for consumers.

EPIC’s comments urged the FCC to 1) adopt a “used and useful (to ratepayers)” standard for calculating allowable pass-through costs to ratepayers instead of a “necessary” standard, 2) recognize that so-called “video visitation” is a telecommunications service and should not be associated with in-person visitation, 3) adopt a broad interpretation of covered institutions including secure mental health, immigration detention, and juvenile detention facilities 4) not to rely on precedents that are no longer binding in light of the Martha Wright-Reed Act.

EPIC’s prior comments also urged the FCC to lower rates and reduce surveillance for incarcerated people and their families.

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