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Senate bill targets recalcitrant FCC; revitalizes federal fight to lower the cost of calling home

Senators introduced S 2520 in bipartisan effort to put FCC back on track in regulating the cost of calling home from prison or jail.

by Aleks Kajstura, March 12, 2018

In bipartisan effort, Senators Duckworth (D-IL), Portman (R-OH), Booker (D-NJ) and Schatz (D-HI) recently introduced a bill (S.2520) to smooth the road for prison phone and video call regulation.

The bill clarifies that the FCC is required to ensure fair cost to customers, rather than only protecting phone company profits. The bill also clarifies that the FCC’s authority to regulate prison and jail phone calls includes all types of calling technology; this is particularly timely as many of the companies are pushing video calling to circumvent phone call regulation (and monetize visitation).

While a lot of this may seem like common sense, recent phone company litigation makes these clarifications necessary.

For more info, check out the Senators’ fact sheet.

Aleks Kajstura is Legal Director at the Prison Policy Initiative. (Other articles | Full bio | Contact)

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