For the past several years, the Federal Communications Commission has sought to impose a number of regulatory rules on interstate and intrastate Inmate Calling Services.
The first major ruling occurred in October 2013, with FCC Order 13-113. This was followed by FCC Order FCC Order 15-136 issued November 2015, which was intended to replace 13-113. FCC Order 15-136 was further modified by the FCC through an "Order on Reconsideration" released in August 2016.
All three Orders have been appealed to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals by a group of Inmate Calling Service providers, with participation by certain correctional facilities and state regulatory entities.
Orders 13-113 and 15-136 were both previously partially stayed by the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, with only certain rules regarding state-to-state calling rates, per-call surcharges (for both in-state and state-to-state calling), and billing transaction fees allowed to go into effect. Rules that were allowed to go into effect include:
The rate caps in the Order on Reconsideration were stayed by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on November 2, 2016 pending a decision in the appeal of the Order on Reconsideration. The appeal of Order 15-136 should be decided during 2017. The rules listed above remain in place until these appeals are decided.
We will strive to keep you informed of any future changes.