Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order to begin implementing the “Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act of 2022” to end predatory pricing for calls to and from incarcerated people.
The agency specifically seeks comment on how to interpret the Act’s language to ensure just and reasonable rates and charges for incarcerated people’s audio and video communications. The move follows almost 20 years of public interest advocacy championing the needs of this vulnerable group. Public Knowledge commends Chairwoman Rosenworcel for quickly issuing this Notice and applauds the Commission for working to keep incarcerated people and their families connected.
The following can be attributed to Al Kramer, Senior Fellow at Public Knowledge:
“Everyone has a right to connect with loved ones at reasonable prices. Unconscionable phone rates impose undue hardship on many families, forcing them to choose between connecting with incarcerated loved ones or putting food on the table. No one should ever have to make that choice, and now, with this FCC action, we’re one step closer to making sure incarcerated people and their loved ones don’t have to do so. By enacting this law, Congress has made it clear that the FCC has jurisdiction over both interstate and intrastate rates and it expects the FCC to adopt lower rates for these calls.”
Members of the media may contact Communications Director Shiva Stella with inquiries, interview requests, or to join the Public Knowledge press list at firstname.lastname@example.org or 405-249-9435.