Telecommunications companies operating in the United States are subject to the Federal Universal Service Fund (USF), a program administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The USF aims to promote access to telecommunications services for all Americans, regardless of location or economic status, it is funded through contributions from telecommunications service providers. The USF funds four programs – High-Cost Program, Lifeline Program, Schools, and Libraries Program. Telecommunications companies may be subject to contributions to one or more of these programs based on the services they offer and the areas they operate in.
Telecommunications companies are required to contribute to the USF based on a percentage of their interstate and international revenues. This contribution is known as the Universal Service Fund Fee. It is calculated as a percentage of a company’s end-user telecommunications revenues. The rate varies but typically ranges from 15.5% to 33%. Telecommunications companies are responsible for quarterly collecting and submitting USF fees to the FCC. The fees are typically passed on to consumers as a line-item charge on their telephone or broadband bills.
The file below is the most current contribution factor calculated by the FCC.