Universal Service Fund
Regulation Change Alert – FCC Ruling Regarding Universal Service Fund Fees For Conferencing
On June 30, 2008, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a ruling stating that audio conferencing is subject to the same rules and regulations as other telecommunications services as it applies to the assessment of fees for the Universal Service Fund (USF).
The FCC ruling applies to all conferencing service providers regardless of size or location. As a result of this ruling, all conferencing service providers are required to bill and collect from our customers a USF assessment on audio conferencing services. The USF % is reviewed and revised quarterly by the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC). The USF assessment % for the 4th quarter of 2008 is 11.4%.
All conferencing service providers must collect this assessment beginning October 1, 2008 and remit the funds to USAC. Accordingly, beginning with our 11/1/2008 invoice for services rendered in October, you will see the additional line item “Universal Service Fund” calculated at 11.4% of your USF eligible teleconferencing charges.
The Universal Service Fund (USF) was created by the Federal Communications Commission under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (the Act) to advance the availability of telecommunication services to all consumers, including those in low income, rural, insular, and high cost areas at rates that are reasonably comparable to those charged in urban areas. Here are some additional resources with more information about the USF and the recent FCC ruling:
- FCC June 30, 2008 Order
- FCC July 17, 2008 Public Notice
- FCC Information on Universal Service
- USAC Information on Universal Service
- BroadData Customer FAQs
- Quarterly USF Assessment %’s From The FCC
Prior to the recent FCC ruling regarding USF, conferencing services providers like BroadData argued that bridging services were not covered by the Act. We are disappointed with the FCC’s decision. We value your business and we remain committed to providing you the highest value conferencing services in the business.