Fusion Fees & Taxes
Regulatory Taxes & Fees
A variety of local, state, and federal items are included with your Pacific Internet bill depending on the exact type of service provided:
- California Lifeline Telephone Service Surcharge
- California Deaf and Disabled Telecom Program Surcharge
- California High Cost Fund-A Surcharge
- California High Cost Fund-B Surcharge
- California Teleconnect Fund Surcharge
- California Advanced Services Fund Surcharge
- California 911 Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge
- California Public Utility Commission User Fee
- Federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF)
- Federal Subscriber Line Charge
- Federal Interstate Telecommunications Service Provider (ITSP) Fee
- FCC Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS)
- Local Utility Users Tax
- Property Tax Allotment Surcharge
- Regulatory Recovery Surcharge
For current CPUC surcharge rates, see http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/surcharges/
California Lifeline Telephone Service Surcharge
California LifeLine was established by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in compliance with Public Utilities Code § 871–884.5 providing discounted basic residential (landline) telephone services to low-income households.
California Deaf and Disabled Telecom Program Surcharge
The CPUC, in compliance with Public Utilities Code § 2881–2890.2, 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).
California High Cost Fund-A Surcharge
The California High Cost Fund-A (CHCF-A) was implemented in accordance with Public Utilities Code § 275.6 and § 739.2. It provides a source of supplemental revenues to 13 small Local Exchange Carriers (LECs) for the purpose of minimizing any rate disparity of basic telephone services between rural and metropolitan areas.
California High Cost Fund-B Surcharge
The California High Cost Fund-B (CHCF-B) was implemented in accordance with Public Utilities Code § 739.3. It provides subsidies to carriers of last resort (COLRs) for providing basic local telephone service to residential customers in high-cost areas that are currently served by Pacific Bell Telephone Company dba AT&T California, Verizon California Inc., Citizens Telecommunications Company of California dba Frontier Communications of California, and Cox Communications. The purpose of the subsidies is to keep basic telephone service affordable and to meet the Commission's universal service goal.
California Teleconnect Fund Surcharge
The California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) provides a 50% discount on select communications services to schools, libraries, hospitals and other non-profit organizations. The program was established by Decision 96-10-066 on October 25, 1996. In this decision, the California Public Utilities Commission reaffirmed its commitment to universal service, and created the CTF program in accordance with state and federal directives. The program is funded through a surcharge on all customers that purchase intrastate telecommunications services.
California Advanced Services Fund Surcharge
The California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) was authorized by the Commission on December 20, 2007, in Decision 07-12-054 in accordance with Public Utilities Code § 701. It provides grants to "telephone corporations" as defined under Public Utilities Code § 234.
California 911 Emergency Telephone Users Surcharge
The California Board of Equalization (BOE) 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.
California Public Utilities Commission User Fee
The California PUC User Fee is established by the California Public Utilities Commission. Revenues collected from this fee fund the annual budget of the CPUC for regulating telecommunications utilities. The CPUC determines annually the appropriate fee to be paid by the telecommunications carriers. This fee is based on the telecommunications carrier's gross intrastate revenue excluding inter-carrier sales, equipment sales, and directory advertising.
Federal Universal Service Fund
Because telephones provide a vital link to emergency services, to government services and to surrounding communities, it has been our nation's policy to promote telephone service to all households since this service began in the 1930s. The USF helps to make phone service affordable and available to all Americans, including consumers with low incomes, those living in areas where the costs of providing telephone service is high, schools and libraries and rural health care providers. Congress has mandated that all telephone companies providing interstate service must contribute to the USF. Although not required to do so by the government, many carriers choose to pass their contribution costs on to their customers in the form of a line item, often called the "Federal Universal Service Fee" or "Universal Connectivity Fee."
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 FCC regulates this surcharge.
This surcharge appears by many names. The following are some ways in which the FUSF charges may be represented on bills from other companies, including your local and long distance telephone carriers:
- Federal Universal Service Fee
- Federal Universal Service Fund
- Federal USF - ADSL / VDSL / ETC
- FED USF - ISDN PRI
- FED USF - CENTREX
- FED USF - Special Access
- Universal Connectivity Charge
- Universal Service Carrier Charge
Federal Subscriber Line Charge
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.
Federal Interstate Telecommunications Service Provider (ITSP) Fee
As set forth in United States Code, Title 47, § 159(a), the FCC is required by Congress to collect regulatory fees to recover the costs associated with its enforcement, policy and rulemaking, user information, and international activities. Licensees and regulatees are assessed fees calculated as set forth in annual (fiscal) regulatory fees notices.
FCC Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS)
The Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) is a telephone transmission service that allows persons who have hearing or speech disabilities to place and receive telephone calls. TRS is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and some of the U.S. territories for local and long distance calls. The assessment rate for 2011-2012 is 1.058% of all interstate and international telephone charges.
Local Utility Users Tax
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.org website provides a helpful reference. You can also contact your city's finance department for specific information about utility users tax.
Regulatory Recovery Surcharge
A Regulatory Recovery Surcharge is assessed by the local phone company on all base voice charges excluding other taxes and surcharges, to cover costs associated with payment of government imposed fees and to recover the costs of compliance with all government imposed regulatory requirements. It may include costs incurred in prior years that are not yet fully recovered. This charge is subject to change from time to time as the cost of regulatory compliance changes.
Property Tax Allotment Surcharge
A property tax allotment (PTA) surcharge is applied to all base voice charges excluding other taxes and surcharges. This is not a tax, but a cost recovery mechanism meant to recover the cost of state-assessed property taxes on telecommunications equipment located in the local phone company service areas. For more information on state-assessed property taxes, see the State-Assessed Properties Program page from the BOE.