On January 5, 2023, President Biden signed the bipartisan Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act of 2022 into law. The legislation amends the Communications Act of 1934 to require the FCC to ensure just and reasonable charges for “any audio or video communications service used by inmates for the purpose of communicating with individuals outside the correctional institution where the inmate is held, regardless of technology used.” In addition, these services are now defined as “advanced communications services”— which existing law requires to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, unless that is not achievable.
After the House and Senate passed the legislation, Chairwoman Rosenworcel and Commissioner Starks issued separate statements regarding this legislation.
Statement of Chairwoman Rosenworcel:
Statement of Commissioner Starks:
General information about ACS is available at https://www.fcc.gov/general/advanced-communications-services-acs. For further information, please contact Michael Scott, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at (202) 418-1264 or Michael.Scott@fcc.gov. Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432‐2275.