D.C. Circuit Stays FCC Prison Phone Rate Caps

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By Lydia Beyoud

Nov. 2 — A federal court Nov. 2 stayed an FCC order capping prison phone calling rates, in a win for telecom companies including Securus Technologies Inc. that provide prison phone services ( Securus Technologies, Inc. v. FCC, D.C. Cir., No. 16-01339, stay order 11/2/16 ).

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stayed the FCC rules until it disposes of an appeal of lower 2015 prison phone rate caps ordered by the commission ( Global Tel*Link v. FCC, D.C. Cir., No. 15-01461, reply briefs filed 10/31/16 ).

The FCC's Aug. 4 vote along partisan lines to adjust the caps was the third effort to curb what the FCC has termed exorbitant prison phone rates and fees (2016 TLN 14, 9/1/16).

Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, who has led the agency's efforts to overhaul the prison phone market, said in a Nov. 2 tweet that she was dismayed by the court's stay, but would “keep pressing” on the issue.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lydia Beyoud in Washington at lbeyoud@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at kperine@bna.com

For More Information

Text of the stay order is at http://src.bna.com/jPm.

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