Washington, D.C. Of Counsel Lee Petro was asked by Bloomberg BNA to prepare a video regarding the recent Inmate Calling Services Report and Order adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). For more than a decade, Lee has provided pro bono counsel to groups of petitioners and family members before the FCC, seeking to reduce the cost of interstate phone call rates that are charged to inmates and their families.
In the video, Lee provides a background on how the inmate calling service system works and how the contracts are set up between the phone companies and the correctional facilities. He breaks down the Report and Order’s adopted rate structure which has two tiers; the safe harbor and a hard cap rate. In addition to the two tiers, Lee discusses the FCC ruling that commissions being paid to correctional facilities by phone companies are not deemed to be a justifiable cost that can be recovered from the customers.
In the final part of the Report and Order, Lee discusses the FCC’s determination that the ancillary fees that are being charged to the customers must be cost-based.
Lee also provides insight on the further notice of proposed rulemaking where the FCC asked for comment as to whether the same rate structure should be applied to intrastate phone calls.
The video can be viewed here.