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FCC Extends Universal Service Fees to VoIP Providers


25/06/2006

In a move anticipated for some time by analysts, the American FCC ruled last week that VoIP providers must contribute a portion of their revenues to the Universal Service Fund, a government subsidy which ensures that rural regions are properly covered by telephone services.

The USF fees are already levied on local and long distance telephone providers, wireless carriers, and pay phone companies. The cost is invariably passed on to consumers.

It is estimated that this decision will result in a $1.30 increase on top of the average U.S. VoIP bill.

Like public safety goals, universal service obligations transcend new technologies and cannot be compromised, explained FCC Chairman Kevin Martin about the Commission`s decision to impose this fee.



 

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