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FCC Leter to Securus re WC Docket No. 12-375, In the Matter of Rates for Interstate Inmate Calling Services, December 3, 2015

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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
December 3, 2015
DA 15-1382
Robert Pickens
Securus Technologies, Inc.
3000 Kellway Dr. #150
Carrolton, TX 75006
RE: WC Docket No. 12-375, In the Matter of Rates for Interstate Inmate Calling Services
Dear Mr. Pickens:
I am writing in response to a letter that Securus Technologies, Inc. (Securus) apparently sent to
one or more customers on November 13, 201 51 Specifically, I want to address the letter's inaccurate and
misleading statements regarding mandatory fees, which mischaracterize the Commission's actions in the
2OJ5ICS Order.2
Contrary to the suggestion of the Securus Letter, the Commission has not sanctioned any proposal
for correctional facilities to continue collecting site commissions "over and above the rate cap" by
"get[ting] a Mandatory Fee authorized and assessed.. . that can be passed on to consumers."3 In
permitting ICS providers to pass mandatory taxes and fees through to consumers, without any mark-up,4
the 2015 ICS Order defines the mandatory taxes and fees eligible for pass through as "amounts that a
carrier is required to collect directly from customers, and remit to federal, state or local governments."5
This decision allows providers to collect Universal Service fees, and similar government taxes and fees,
from consumers and remit the funds to the relevant government entity.6 Also contrary to a statement in
the Securus Letter, the Commission's decision to allow providers to pass such fees and taxes on to end
users did not invite the creation of an alternative means for correctional facilities to "generate some level
of funding through inmate calling services."7 Indeed, such a result would run counter to the
Commission's stated goal of eliminating loopholes and providing relief to ICS users by reducing their
bills to fair and reasonable levels, commensurate with the costs of providing inmate calling services.8
'Letter from Lee C. Petro, Counsel to Wright Petitioners, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, WC Docket No.
12-375, Attach. at Exh. B (filed Nov. 20, 2015) (Securus Letter).
2 See Securus Letter at 1; Rates for Interstate Inmate Calling Services, WC Docket No. 12-3 75, Second Report and
Order and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 15-136 (2015) (2015 ICS Order).
Securus Letter at 1.
2015 ICS Order, FCC 15-136, at paras. 191-192; see also id. at Appendix A, 47 C.F.R. § 64.6020, 64.6070.
5Id. at para.191, Appendix A, 47 C.F.R. § 64.6000 (n).
6 See, e.g., id. at para. 192, n. 687. Notably, Securus and other ICS providers had advocated to the Commission that
providers be permitted to impose taxes and fees "consistent with existing federal and state requirements. . . ." Letter
from Brian D. Oliver, Chief Executive Officer, GTL, Richard A. Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Securus, and
Kevin O'Neil, President, Telmate, to Chairman Tom Wheeler, Chairman, FCC, WC Docket No. 12-375, at 4-5, n.
13 (filed Sept. 15, 2014) (emphasis added).
Securus Letter at 1.

8See 2OJ5ICS Order, FCC 15-136, atparas. 1-2,9.


Although this letter is only meant to correct some of the misconceptions that might have been
created by the Securus Letter, I note that, as the Commission stated in the 2015 ICS Order, "[w]e will be
vigilant in monitoring the [ICS] industry. . . . If we observe or are made aware of evidence of price
gouging or other harmful behavior through, but not limited to, increased rates, ancillary service charges,
and/or site commissions, we will not hesitate to take appropriate remedial action up to and including
enforcement action pursuant to our legal authority under sections 201 and 276 or referral to another
appropriate agency."9
I hope this letter clears up any misunderstandings that may have led to the misleading statements
in the Securus Letter.

Matthew S. DelNero
Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau
Federal Communications Commission


National Sheriffs' Association
American Jail Association
American Correctional Association

Id. at para. 260.