There is another example of the never-ending fight between the haves and the have nots, which is taking place within the inmate communication industry. There is a very vocal group of people who have been customers of the largest companies in this industry for a while. These people have loved ones in jail and have been subjected to phone rates that some would call outrageous. The rates were as high as $500 a month, which the FCC deemed unfair.
The FCC passed a mandated cap of 11 cents. This was a reasonable amount, and the FCC attempted to impose this cap on companies like Global Tel-Link and Securus. These are the two largest corporations in the industry and are bitter competitors but remain united on this fight. Both argued that the cap would cut profits severely, and they will be unable to provide quality service to customers.
The companies also argued that many of the prisons that these companies have contracts with also take a good chunk of the money, which is used to help inmates by providing counseling or similar services. It should come to no surprise that these companies took the FCC and its proposal to court. The FCC lost, in a sense, since the judge decided to delay the cap.
The FCC did not anticipate this loss but are now attempting to weaken the arguments that Global Tel-Link and Securus are putting out there. The FCC just introduced a new cap of 13 cents, which should stop these companies from saying that the cap is too high.
There is no telling whether this will help ensure that the FCC is able to impose the cap, which is going to end up helping thousands of family members who just cannot afford the high rates that the inmate communication industry has gotten away with charging.