ICS rate cap

Providers of inmate calling services (ICS) continue to raise questions about the FCC’s new interstate ICS rate caps.

In a February 10, 2014 filing, Securus Technologies, Inc. sought guidance from the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau as to whether ICS providers could charge flat rates for ICS calls.  Securus said that several correctional authorities have asked whether it can adopt interstate rates that are $3.15 for all prepaid calls and $3.75 for all collect calls, assessed as a flat rate.  

Securus noted that the FCC’s order sets interstate Interim Rate Caps of $0.21 per minute for prepaid calls and $0.25 per minute for collect calls.  At those rates, a 15-minute call would be $3.15 and $3.75, respectively.  The Order also states that carriers have the “flexibility” to “calculate whether their rates are at or below the interim safe harbor levels or the interim rate caps by calculating their compliance on the basis of a 15-minute call.”

Securus said it would apply the Interim Rate Caps on a per-minute basis pending the Bureau’s consideration. 

Separately, the FCC granted Pay Tel a nine-month waiver of the interim ICS rate caps, unless the FCC decides to take action on intrastate ICS rate caps sooner.  TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers, watch for a Bulletin with full details.