FCC 13-113

FCC Order 13-113, released in October 2013, ordered the establishment of a number of new regulatory rules for Inmate Calling Services.

Several parties appealed the Order, requesting a stay of the new rules pending final outcome of the Appeal. In response, the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a Partial Stay halting the implementation of many components of the Order. The final decision regarding that Appeal is still pending.

The key component that survived the Court’s Partial Stay were rate caps for state-to-state (aka "interstate") calling of $0.25 per minute for interstate collect calls and $0.21 per minute for interstate prepaid (aka "prepaid collect") and inmate-paid (aka "debit") calls. These caps may be met using a per-minute only, per-call only, or combination; for example, a 15-minute prepaid call may be charged at $0.21 per minute, $3.15 per call, or a combination such that the cost does not exceed $3.15.

Links to the 2013 Order and Partial Stay are below. In addition, the FCC is considering new rules for Inmate Calling Services, including regulation of in-state (aka “intrastate”) calling through a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in October 2015. A link to this document is also below.

What this might mean for you:
If your phone number is outside the state from which your incarcerated loved one is calling, your phone calls are subject to these new rates. Please note that government-mandated taxes and fees, including FCC-mandated Universal Service Fund charges, still apply to the cost of interstate calls. Rates for in-state calls, in addition to certain transaction fees were not affected by the 2013 Order or Partial Stay.

In addition, further changes to both intrastate and interstate inmate calling may be coming as a result of the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. A decision in this proceeding is expected later in 2015.