Voice Plans Taxes & Fees
- California Lifeline Telephone Service Surcharge
- California Deaf and Disabled Telecom Program Surcharge
- California High Cost Fund-A Surcharge
- California Teleconnect Fund Surcharge
- California Advanced Services Fund Surcharge
- California 911 Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge
- Federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF)
- Federal Regulatory Assessment Fee
- Local Utility Users Tax
California Lifeline Telephone Service Surcharge
California LifeLine was established by the California Public Utilities Commission in compliance withPublic Utilities Code — 871 providing discounted basic residential (landline) telephone services to low-income households. For current surcharge rates, see http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/Telco/Consumer+Information/surcharges.htm
The PUC, in compliance with Public Utilities Code — 2881, implemented three telecommunications programs for California residents who are deaf, hearing impaired and/or disabled. These three programs are collectively known as the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program (DDTP). For more information on the California Deaf and Disabled Telecom Program, see the CPUC website. For current surcharge rates, see http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/Telco/Consumer+Information/surcharges.htm
The California High Cost Fund-A (CHCF-A) was implemented in accordance with Public Utilities Code — 739.3. It provides a source of supplemental revenues to 14 small local exchange carriers (LECs) for the purpose of minimizing any rate disparity of basic telephone services between rural and metropolitan areas. For more information on the California High Cost Fund-A, see the CPUC website. For current surcharge rates, see http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/Telco/Consumer+Information/surcharges.htm
Making Telecommunications Services Affordable for Schools, Libraries, and Others The California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) Program was established by Decision 96-10-066 on October 25, 1996. In this decision, the Commission reaffirmed its commitment to universal service, and in accordance with state and federal directives, created the CTF program to provide 50% discount on selected telecommunications services to qualifying schools, libraries, government-owned and operated hospitals and health clinics, and community based organizations. The program is funded through a surcharge on all end-users of intrastate telecommunications services. For more information on the California Teleconnect Fund, see the CPUC website. For current surcharge rates, see http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/Telco/Consumer+Information/surcharges.htm
The California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) was authorized by the Commission on December 20, 2007, in D.07-12-054 in accordance with Public Utilities Code — 701. It provides grants to “telephone corporations” as defined under Public Utilities Code — 234. The total allocation for the CASF is $100 million. An expected two-year program, the CASF will promote universal service in unserved and underserved areas in the state by awarding funding to qualifying certificated applicant carriers. The funding will be used for projects that will a) provide broadband services to areas currently without broadband access and b) build out facilities in underserved areas if funds are still available. Funds shall be collected using an all-end-user surcharge billed and collected by telecommunications carriers. For more information on the California Advanced Services Fund, see the CPUC website. For current surcharge rates, see http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/Telco/Consumer+Information/surcharges.htm
The California Board of Equalization administers the Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge Law. The surcharge is imposed on amounts paid by every person in the state for intrastate telephone communication service. The service supplier (or billing aggregator authorized by a service supplier) shall collect the surcharge from each service user and remit to the state the amount of the surcharge. For more information on the California Emergency Telephone Users surcharge, see the California Board of Equalization website.
The current incarnation of the FUSF was introduced into tax law created by United States Congress, via the FCC in 1998. Title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, Sections 36, 54, and 69. This surcharge is imposed for the purpose of providing telecommunications services at an affordable price to schools, libraries, rural health care providers, and low-income customers. The tax is a percentage of the interstate portion of the long distance charge on your bill. The surcharge is assessed to all telecommunications companies with interstate operations, including long distance carriers, wireless companies, pager companies and payphone companies. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates this surcharge.
Where can I get more information about the FUSF?
The best resource for information about the particulars of the FUSF is the FCC website at www.fcc.gov.The FCC website is a good place to find information regarding the telecommunications industry in general.
The Subscriber Line Charge is a fee paid to the local phone company that connects you to the telephone network. Local telephone companies recover some of the costs of telephone lines connected to homes or businesses through this monthly charge on your local telephone bill. Sometimes called the federal subscriber line charge, this fee is regulated and capped by the FCC, not by state Public Utility Commissions. For more information on the Federal Subscriber Line Charge, see the Federal Communication Commission website.
As set forth in 47 U.S.C. 159(a), the Commission is required by Congress to collect regulatory fees to recover the regulatory costs associated with its enforcement, policy and rulemaking, user information, and international activities. For more information on the Federal Interstate Telecommunications Service Provider (ITSP) Fee, see http://www.fcc.gov/fees/regfees.html
Local telephone taxes are charged by many municipalities. These are voter approved taxes which utility providers are obligated to collect and remit to your city. For specific rates for your city, the UUTInfo website provides a helpful reference. You can also contact your city’s finance department for specific information about utility users tax.
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