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Universal Service Fund (USF) Rates, Info & FAQ

Current Rates

USF Rate 3Q 2014:  15.7%
USF Rate 2Q 2014:  16.6%
Historical Rates

Background

On June 30, 2008, the Federal Communications Commission issued a ruling stating that audio conferencing fell subject to the same rules and regulations as telecommunications as it applies to the assessment fees for the Universal Service Fund (USF).

The FCC ruling applies to all conferencing services providers in the United States.

The USF is a government administered fund to support the provision of telecommunications services in rural and high cost areas, low income consumers and to schools, libraries and healthcare facilities nationwide. All telecommunications providers contribute to the USF on an equal basis. The contribution factor changes quarterly and the current USF rate is listed above. In addition to USF, a few other federal fees, state USF fees and state and local taxes apply to telecommunications services.

Impact on AT Conference Customers

Any on-demand reservationless or operated-assisted audio conference call conducted on or after October 1, 2008, from or to the United States is subject to USF fees. Included are all associated audio conferencing feature usage and applicable service fees. AT Conference invoices for October 2008 and after will have a separate line item for USF fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is AT Conference collecting this fee on audio calls?
A recent decision by the FCC dictates that all telecommunication service providers track all telecommunications revenue. To remain in compliance and in good standing, AT Conference must file forms with USAC and pay the fee assessed by the FCC on the telecommunications revenue.
Will AT Conference's competitors also charge this fee on audio conferencing calls?
Yes. The June 30, 2008 FCC order clearly states that all providers of telecommunications which includes conferencing must comply with the order. The FCC has directed USAC to ensure that all conferencing service providers abide by the order.
What states and countries are impacted by the USF?
The USF applies to services billed to all AT Conference customers, including both interstate and international services. All international calls between the United States and foreign countries will be subject to the USF.
Is the USF based on where the company is headquartered?
No. The USF is based on end user revenues for calls subject to FCC jurisdiction. Federal USF fees apply to interstate telecommunications and calls between the United States and foreign countries. The FCC order clarified that conferencing is telecommunications. Therefore, if the conference involves a call from one state terminating in another state or calls between a foreign country and the United States, the USF fee will apply.
Are all of my conferencing services subject to USF fees?
No. Web conferencing services are not subject to USF fees. Only audio conferencing services are subject to USF fees.
What if I start a conference call from a cell phone?
The USF fee applies to all interstate telecommunications and all international telecommunications from or to the United States regardless of the device used.
Do USF fees apply to audio calls made on VOIP?
Yes. The USF fee applies to all interstate telecommunications and all international telecommunications from or to the United States regardless of the device used.
Will AT Conference issue a credit for the USF fee if a credit was issued on a call?
Yes. When a credit is issued, the applicable fees assessed on the portion subject to the credit are also credited.
Are charitable or religious groups exempt from the USF fees similar to their exemption from certain sales tax?
In most cases USF fees apply to all end users including not-for-profit entities. Customers that verify their contributor status through the USAC web site and provide AT Conference with supporting documentation will not be charged USF fees.

USF Historical Rates

Quarterly USF† rates since its inception.

UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND RATES
YEAR QUARTER RATE
2014 Q1 16.4%
Q2 16.6%
Q3 15.7%
2013 Q1 16.1%
  Q2 15.5%
  Q3 15.1%
  Q4 15.6%
2012 Q1 17.9%
  Q2 17.4%
  Q3 15.7%
  Q4 17.4%
2011 Q1 15.5%
  Q2 14.9%
  Q3 14.4%
  Q4 15.3%
2010 Q1 17.9%
  Q2 17.4%
  Q3 15.7%
  Q4 17.4%
2009 Q1 9.5%
  Q2 11.3%
  Q3 12.9%
  Q4 12.3%
2008 Q1 11.4%

†Click here for more information on the USF.

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