Billing

Business - Federal Universal Service Fund Fee

Summary

This article explains the Federal Universal Service Fund Fee.

What it is?

The Federal Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), as agent of the FCC, has required the assessment of fee on services such as Fiber Point to Point (PTP) or Fiber Multi-Point to Point (PTP) services unless the customer provides a certification that less than 10% of the traffic transmitted over the service is inter-state in nature. The FCC uses the funds collected to expand telecommunications to rural and low-income areas across the nation. The fee varies and is updated every quarter: http://www.usac.org/cont/default.aspx

As a Customer, what do I need to do?

Customers simply must self-certify and return the signed affidavit (or a scanned copy) to BendBroadband. This certification will be updated annually for as long as you purchase point to point services from BendBroadband. If you choose not to sign the certification letter, then BendBroadband must apply the fee and remit payment to the Federal USAC.

How does this apply to BendBroadband, we are not a traditional phone company?

You may already be familiar with this certification as all telecommunications providers, large and small, must perform this certification. In May of 1997, the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") adopted rules that mandated that telecommunications carriers pay into a federal program called the Universal Service Fund ("USF") to include wireless and Internet based communications providers.

Our point to point circuits both start and end in-state, none of them cross state boundaries, why do we have participate?

This certification process applies to all circuits even if the two end points are within the same state. The presence of a point to point service provided by a telecommunications provider triggers the requirement for certification or assessment of the fee.

How is the fee calculated?

The basis for applying the fee is the point to point circuit alone. For example:

  • If basis (monthly charge) for the point to point (Metro Circuit) is $100.00 and the factor (rate) in Q2 of 2014 is 16.6%, the fee would be: 100 x 0.166 = $16.60 monthly.

How we tell if our traffic is greater than 10% inter-state? Can BendBroadband do this?

Customers must assess their own usage. As a customer, you can use various types of telecommunications services across point to point circuits. BendBroadband cannot determine all of the services a customer uses across the circuit, nor can BendBroadband assess the final destination.

Can I change our position?

Yes, a customer can change:

  • If a customer is currently certified (not paying the fee) and their traffic changes to greater than 10% inter-state, they are obligated to notify BendBroadband who will change their account and the fee will be assessed starting the next billing cycle.
  • If a customer is currently paying the fee and their traffic changes to less than 10% inter-state, they can notify BendBroadband, sign a certification letter and upon Finance authorization the fee will be removed from the account.

Are pro-rates or credits allowed?

No. Billing is monthly. No pro-rates or credits are allowed.

What if I have additional questions?

Please remit additional questions to BendBroadband compliance: usfquestions@bendbroadband.net

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