Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks Comment on Securus Technologies, LLC's Petition for Waiver of the Inmate Calling Services Per-Minute Rate Requirement

CourtFederal Communications Commission
Citation86 FR 70427
Record Number2021-26586
Publication Date10 December 2021
Federal Register, Volume 86 Issue 235 (Friday, December 10, 2021)
[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 235 (Friday, December 10, 2021)]
                [Proposed Rules]
                [Pages 70427-70429]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2021-26586]
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                FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                47 CFR Part 64
                [WC Docket No. 12-375, DA 21-1422; FR 58958]
                Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks Comment on Securus
                Technologies, LLC's Petition for Waiver of the Inmate Calling Services
                Per-Minute Rate Requirement
                AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.
                ACTION: Solicitation of Comments.
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                SUMMARY: The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a petition
                filed by Securus Technologies, LLC asking the Commission to waive
                certain sections of its regulations, which require interstate and
                international inmate calling services calls to be charged to customers
                only on a per-minute basis.
                DATES: Comments are due January 7, 2021, and Reply comments are due
                January 21, 2022.
                ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by WC Docket No. 12-375,
                by any of the following methods:
                 Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically
                using the internet by accessing the ECFS: https://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/.
                 Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must
                file an original and one copy of each filing.
                 Filings can be sent by commercial overnight courier, or by
                first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be
                addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary,
                Federal Communications Commission.
                 Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service
                Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9050 Junction Drive,
                Annapolis Junction, MD 20701.
                 U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority
                mail must be addressed to 45 L Street NE, Washington, DC 20554.
                 Effective March 19, 2020, and until further notice, the
                Commission no longer accepts any hand or messenger delivered filings.
                This is a temporary measure taken to help protect the health and safety
                of individuals, and to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19. See FCC
                Announces Closure of FCC Headquarters Open Window and Change in Hand-
                Delivery Policy, Public Notice, DA 20-304 (March 19, 2020). https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-closes-headquarters-open-window-and-changes-hand-delivery-policy.
                [[Page 70428]]
                 People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible
                formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic
                files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the
                Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-
                418-0432 (TTY).
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Katherine Morehead, Pricing Policy
                Division of the Wireline Competition Bureau, at (202) 418-0696 or via
                email at [email protected].
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the FCC's Public
                Notice, DA 21-1422, released November 12, 2021. The full text of this
                Public Notice is available at https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1422A1.pdf. The full text of the Securus Petition is available
                at: https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/10830227993038/Subscription%20Plan%20Waiver%20Petition.PDF.
                 The Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) seeks comment on a
                petition filed by Securus Technologies, LLC asking the Commission to
                waive sections 64.6030, 64.6080, and 64.6090 of its rules, which
                require inmate calling services (ICS) calls to be charged to customers
                on a per-minute basis.
                 According to the Petition, Securus began piloting subscription
                plans for intrastate calls in 2020 and now offers these plans at eight
                correctional facilities. Under these plans, ``subscribers pay a flat
                monthly fee for up to 100 calls per month or 25 calls per week.''
                Securus asserts that its subscription plan pilot program is in jeopardy
                because it ``cannot definitively determine if a call is intrastate when
                a subscription plan call is made'' since many of the calls are ``made
                to wireless phones whose exact physical location is difficult to
                determine.'' Thus, Securus claims that it must ``treat potentially in-
                state but [jurisdictionally] indeterminate calls as interstate calls
                whose rates are limited to per-minute charges, jeopardizing the
                development and availability of flat-rate subscription plans for
                multiple calls.''
                 Worth Rises filed a response to the Securus Petition. Worth Rises
                argues that ``Securus has not provided sufficient data in its waiver
                request for the Commission to determine the true per-minute rate range
                offered through its subscription packages and whether they generally
                conform to the Commission's rate caps.'' Worth Rises identifies four
                principal concerns with Securus's subscription plans as described in
                the Petition--call length and usage data, dropped calls, unused calls,
                and renewals. Worth Rises suggests that the Commission should also
                require additional information from Securus before considering the
                waiver, including information on the policies related to the
                subscription programs and the ``cost basis of the pilot subscription
                packages by pilot location.'' Worth Rises requests that if the
                Commission grants the Petition, it should require Securus to base its
                subscription plans on minutes rather than calls, ``limit Securus to
                selling packages of usage (e.g., 250 minutes) or time (e.g., unlimited
                monthly), but not both,'' and ``prevent automatic subscription renewals
                or require easily accessible termination options.''
                 The Bureau seeks comment on the Securus Petition. The Bureau also
                seeks comment on the additional information and data Worth Rises
                suggests the Commission should require before considering the Securus
                waiver request. Additionally, the Bureau seeks comment on the concerns
                Worth Rises raises regarding the Securus pilot subscription programs,
                including concerns relating to call length and usage, dropped and
                unused calls, subscription renewals, and the methods used to share
                initial disclosures and other subscription plan policies with
                customers.
                 Filing of Comments and Replies. Pursuant to sections 1.415 and
                1.419 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested
                parties may file comments on or before January 7, 2022 and reply
                comments on or before January 21, 2022. Comments may be filed using the
                Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System. See FCC, Electronic
                Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (May 1,
                1998). The Protective Order issued in this proceeding permits parties
                to designate certain material as confidential. Filings which contain
                confidential information should be appropriately redacted and filed
                pursuant to the procedure described therein.
                 Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically
                using the internet by accessing the ECFS: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/.
                 Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must
                file an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket
                or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers
                must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or
                rulemaking number.
                 Filings can be sent by commercial overnight courier, or by
                first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be
                addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary,
                Federal Communications Commission.
                 Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service
                Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9050 Junction Drive,
                Annapolis Junction, MD 20701. U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express,
                and Priority mail must be addressed to 45 L Street NE, Washington, DC
                20554.
                 Effective March 19, 2020, and until further notice, the
                Commission no longer accepts any hand or messenger delivered filings.
                This is a temporary measure taken to help protect the health and safety
                of individuals, and to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19.
                 Comments and reply comments must include a short and concise
                summary of the substantive arguments raised in the pleading. Comments
                and reply comments must also comply with section 1.49 and all other
                applicable sections of the Commission's rules. The Commission directs
                all interested parties to include the name of the filing party and the
                date of the filing on each page of their comments and reply comments.
                All parties are encouraged to use a table of contents, regardless of
                the length of their submission.
                 People with Disabilities. The Commission asks that requests for
                accommodations be made as soon as possible in order to allow the agency
                to satisfy such requests whenever possible. Send an email to
                [email protected] or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at
                (202) 418-0530.
                 Ex Parte Presentations. This proceeding shall be treated as a
                ``permit-but-disclose'' proceeding in accordance with the Commission's
                ex parte rules. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy
                of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral
                presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a
                different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons
                making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda
                summarizing the presentation must (1) list all persons attending or
                otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte
                presentation was made and (2) summarize all data presented and
                arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted
                in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already
                reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda, or other
                filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such
                data or arguments in the prior comments, memoranda, or other filings
                (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph
                [[Page 70429]]
                numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of
                summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to
                Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex
                parte presentations and must be filed consistent with section 1.1206(b)
                of the Commission's rules. Participants in this proceeding should
                familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.
                 Additional Information. For further information on this Notice,
                please contact Katherine Morehead, Pricing Policy Division of the
                Wireline Competition Bureau, at (202) 418-0696 or via email at
                [email protected].
                Federal Communications Commission.
                Pamela Arluk,
                Division Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau.
                [FR Doc. 2021-26586 Filed 12-9-21; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
                

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