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FCC plans to lower call rates for prisoners

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(WTVR) - Making long distance phone calls could get cheaper for prisoners.

The FCC opened for public comment on Friday on proposed rules to lower interstate prison phone call rates.

In order to lower calls, the FCC says they plan to establish an interstate rate benchmark, put caps on rates and end exclusive agreements.

The calls prisoners make are on average cost 43% more because of the fees that providers pay to prison facilities.

Right now, a bill for a typical 15 minute call is around $16 in some places.  Per minute calls can cost as low as 5 cents per minute or as high as 89 cents per minute.

In addition to per minute fees, most prisoners are charged a call-initiation fee, which ranges from 50 cents to $3.95 per call.