FCC reduces cost of phone calls to inmates in Washington

SEATTLE (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission announced this week it has put a limit on how much phone companies can charge for phone calls to prison inmates in Washington state and elsewhere.

The FCC says the average cost in Washington of a 15-minute, in-state, long-distance, pre-paid phone call from a family member to a loved one in prison is $3.15. The FCC's new rate cap cuts the cost for that call at $1.65. The FCC also cut the cap on interstate long-distance calls at $1.65 for a 15-minute call.

The new federal rules cap the rate for all local and long distance calls from state and federal prisons across the nation at 11 cents per minute. But it allows some flexibility for phone service at jails and smaller prisons.