FCC Votes to End Predatory Phone Rates

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted Friday to lower interstate prison phone rates, a move that will protect more than 2 million families who rely on long distance phone calls to stay connected to incarcerated family members. The FCC voted 2-1 in favor of reforming the predatory prison phone market that charges up to a $1/minute plus additional fees to families of inmates. Commissioner Ajit Pai cast the lone dissenting vote. The FCC put in place a safe harbor rate of .12/minute for prepaid calls and .14min for collect calls. The order also imposes a rate cap of $.21/minute for debit and prepaid calls and $.25/minute for collect calls to ensure that prison phone rates are “just, reasonable and fair.”