Governors Urge FCC Action on Contraband Cellphones

May 23, 2016–A group of governors sent a letter today to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler urging the FCC to take action and give states authority to address issues regarding contraband cellphones in prisons. “We write today to encourage you and your fellow Commissioners to reevaluate the FCC’s regulations regarding contraband cellphones,” the group of Republican governors wrote in the letter. “States must have the flexibility and authority to eradicate this real and serious threat to the public safety in our states.”

The governors are calling on the FCC to “streamline regulatory review processes and allow states to implement cost-efficient technology in prisons, where the installation of such technology will not sacrifice the safety of the general public.”

“We understand that what works for one state may not work for another and what may be deemed inexpensive for one state may not be cost-efficient for another. Determinations of this kind on the state level – involving the weighing of options, the analysis of budgets, and the proposals of solutions to enhance public safety – are uniquely state functions that should not be impeded by outdated federal regulations and laws,” they wrote.

The letter was signed by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R.), Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R.), Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R.), Indiana Gov. Michael Pence (R.), Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R.), Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R.), Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R.), North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R.), South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R.), and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R.).

The FCC opened a rulemaking proceeding in 2013 to adopt technological solutions and regulatory reforms to prevent the use of contraband cellphones in prisons, but has yet to follow through and adopt new rules. – Carrie DeLeon, carrie.deleon@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily