Prison inmates and their families could soon be paying a lot less to chat on the phone if a Federal Communications Commission push turns into real regulations or rate caps. The local connection? Carriers pay hefty commissions to prison operators, including Corrections Corp. of America, to provide their services to inmates. Bloomberg's Todd Shields says the loss of that money would be material to CCA's results.
The General Assembly has passed a bill that would lower the fee AT&T has to pay rural carriers when transfering long-distance call to their networks. AT&T Tennessee boss Gregg Morton tells WPLN that any future subsidies should go to newer technologies.
“Why are you continuing to subsidize a service that a number of people really don’t want anymore? We need to look at modernizing the regulatory framework here and look at how we can start talking about maybe subsidizing broadband.”
The state Senate has approved a bill that will eventually make all long distance phone calls — wither in- or out-of-state — cost the same.
WPLN has the story on the measure, backed by AT&T, which will phase out the access charge paid to rural phone companies.
Read our earlier story on the issue at this link.
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