Tired of corporate stalling, petitioners submit prison phone companies’ own data to FCC

Martha Wright and her fellow petitioners mine prison phone companies' state-mandated disclosures to submit rate data to the FCC when the companies refuse answer the basic questions themselves.

by Aleks Kajstura, September 23, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been seeking information on the interstate rates charged by the prison phone companies, but the companies have been stalling. Now the FCC is considering regulation of intrastate rates as well. Martha Wright and her fellow petitioners don’t expect the companies to cooperate here either, so the petitioners took the task up themselves and submitted the companies’ publicly disclosed rates to the FCC:

While the provided information is not exhaustive, it does illustrate the widely-divergent rates for the three classes of Intrastate ICS calls. The wide range of rates cannot be explained solely by looking at whether a call is local, IntraLATA, or InterLATA. Moreover, since most every ICS call is routed to calling centers outside the originating state, the artificial differences in rates among Local, IntraLATA and InterLATA calls are simply unnecessary. While ICS providers have previously attempted to divert the FCC’s attention from reviewing their tariffed rates, in light of the ICS providers’ past refusal to provide this information, and the fact that these providers went to the extreme measure of obtaining a court order staying the effectiveness of [the FCC’s request for information published in] 47 C.F.R. §64.6060 so that they would not have to provide this information, the ICS providers cannot now argue that the FCC should merely ignore the publically-available information.

The full filing with the attached rates is available in 7 parts on the FCC’s website — take a look at the companies’ disclosures yourself:



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  • Feb 21, 2019:
    Volunteer Attorney Stephen Raher will be presenting his paper “The Company Store and the Literally Captive Market: Consumer Law in Prisons and Jails” at the Consumer Law Conference at Berkeley Law School. The paper will be presented and discussed at 4:00pm.

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