Contributions to the universal service fund are calculated using certain interstate and international revenues reported on the FCC Form 499-A (Annual Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) and FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet). All intrastate, interstate, and international providers of telecommunications within the United States, with very limited exceptions, must file the FCC Form 499-A. Those same companies who are not de minimis must file the FCC Form 499-Q. For more information on filing the FCC Forms 499-A/Q, please see the Filing & Managing My 499s page.
The term "telecommunications" refers to the transmission, between or among points specified by the user, of information of the user's choosing, without change in the form or content of the information as sent and received. For the purpose of filing, the term "interstate telecommunications" includes, but is not limited to, the following types of services:
Note: All incumbent and competitive local exchange carriers provide access services and, therefore, provide interstate telecommunications. There are no exemptions for data or non-voice services.
The FCC extended universal service obligations to providers of interconnected VoIP service in an order released June 27, 2006 (FCC 06-94). The Commission defines “interconnected VoIP service” as “a service that:
The obligations established by the FCC apply to all VoIP communications made using an interconnected VoIP service, even those that do not involve the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and regardless of how the interconnected VoIP provider facilitates access to and from the PSTN, whether directly or by making arrangements with a third party. The Commission has not yet classified interconnected VoIP services as “telecommunications services” or “information services,” as those terms are defined in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as amended (47 U.S.C. §§ 151 et seq.).
On June 30, 2008, the FCC released the InterCall Order (FCC-08-160), determining that InterCall, Inc. and all stand-alone audio bridging service providers and integrated teleconferencing service providers are required to report international and interstate end-user-revenues and contribute to the federal universal service fund. The order required stand-alone audio-bridging service providers and integrated teleconferencing service providers to file beginning with the August 2008 FCC Form 499-Q (see the FCC Public Notice DA-08-1689).