Today, the FCC announced it will be releasing the Wright petition, which addresses the high
cost of prison phone calls, for a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. This news marks the
reopening of a discussion that has remained stagnant within the agency for almost a
decade. During the coming months, the FCC will be collecting and reviewing comments from
a wide array of stakeholders in an effort to recognize public input fairly. It is important that
stakeholders continue the pressure preceding the announcement and use the coming months as
an opportunity to have their voices heard.
Successful actions by partner organizations have led hundreds of letters to be submitted to
the FCC from family members of inmates and inmates from across the country,
describing the hardships that result from the high cost of phone calls. These stories
are important contributions to the docket, and grant the commission entrance into a world
where individuals must choose between maintaining communication with a loved one behind bars or
paying for a living expense. Because of this, those affected by this issue are encouraged to
continue submitting their stories.
For our part in Washington, Public Knowledge will continue to work with ally organizations,
both in and outside the beltway to ensure that this issue remains on the radar of the
commission. Ultimately, a favorable ruling must be made by the FCC if the families of prisoners are to receive any relief from expensive phone rates.