Washington, D.C. (March 25, 2013): The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) stands proudly with consumer and civil rights organizations in endorsing prison payphone rate reform.
In Comments filed with the FCC today, MMTC endorsed the 2003 Wright Petition that seeks FCC action to proscribe excessive payphone rates. MMTC President David Honig declared that “the burden of staying connected with loved ones in prison falls heaviest on families with the least ability to pay, often forcing them to make harrowing choices between maintaining communication or putting food on the table. Unreasonably high prison phone rate practices reflect poorly on the moral stature of the telephone industry and diminish public confidence in the industry, especially among the underserved.”
MMTC especially appreciates the perseverance of FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, who championed the cause and led the FCC’s initiative to take on the issue through rulemaking.
For the past ten years, the fight for prison payphone justice has been waged by the Prison Phone Rates Collaborative and the Campaign for Prison Phone Justice, which MMTC inducted into its Hall of Fame at the January 2013 MMTC Broadband & Social Justice Summit.
Today, MMTC warmly commended Verizon for its eloquent and thorough Comments in support of the Wright Petition. Since Verizon no longer operates in the prison phone market, it has no economic interest in the FCC prison payphone proceeding. Instead, Verizon has joined forces with social justice organizations on moral and ethical grounds. The company’s advocacy of prison payphone rate reform speaks highly of the corporation and its leadership.
The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications and broadband industries, and closing the digital divide. MMTC is generally recognized as the nation’s leading advocate for minority advancement in communications.