Federal Universal Service Fund Fee Increase as of January 3, 2023

Dear Bloomingdale Communications Customer,

Beginning January 3, 2023 there will be an increase to the Federal Universal Service Fund fee assessed on your Bloomingdale Communications telephone service.  The increase is from 28.9% to 32.6%.

What is the Federal Universal Service Fund Fee?

Universal service is money collected from telecommunications companies that is dedicated to fulfilling the goals of universal service programs. Telecommunications companies are required to make universal service contributions under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. USAC administers the collection and disbursement of these contributions.

Universal service is based on the principle that all Americans should have access to a baseline level of telecommunications service and further the public interest of keeping all Americans connected. This principle is the cornerstone of the Communications Act of 1934, which established universal service in legislation and also created the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Since that time, universal service policies have helped make telephone service widely available throughout the U.S., even in rural areas.

The law adopted explicit goals to guide the implementation of universal service policies. These goals include:

  • Promoting the availability of quality services at just, reasonable, and affordable rates.
  • Increasing access to advanced telecommunications services throughout the nation.
  • Advancing the availability of such services to all consumers, including those with a low income and those who live in rural, insular, and high cost areas, at rates that are reasonably comparable to those charged in urban areas.
  • Increasing access to telecommunications and advanced services in schools, libraries, and rural health care facilities.
  • Providing equitable and nondiscriminatory contributions from all providers of telecommunications services to the fund supporting universal service programs.

Where does the money come from?

Universal service is paid for by contributions from telecommunications carriers, including wireline and wireless companies, and interconnected Voice-over Internet Protocol providers, including cable companies that provide voice service, based on an assessment of their interstate and international end-user revenues.

Telecommunications companies are required by law to make contributions to universal service paying in a percentage of their end-user interstate and international revenues. This percentage is called the contribution factor, and it changes each quarter, varying with demand for universal service support.

Consumers may notice a universal service line item on their telephone bills. This line item appears when a telecommunications carrier chooses to recover its universal service contributions directly from its customers through a charge on their telecommunications bills.

If you have questions or concerns about this notice, please contact our Customer Care Department (269) 521-7300 | (800) 377-3130 Monday through Friday 8:00am-4:30pm.

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