What is the Universal Service Fund (USF)?

All telecom companies are required by the FCC to charge a USF fee. The USF is composed of contributions made from telecommunications companies that fund government programs. Examples of these programs include The High Cost Program, which provides support to Eligible Telecommunications┬áCompanies (ETCs) who deliver telecommunications services to customers in all regions of the country. More specifically, High Cost’s support can be sought by companies providing basic, core telephone services to customers in areas of the country that are most costly to service. The Low Income Program helps to make telephone services more affordable for low-income consumers through two national programs, Lifeline and Link-Up. The Rural Health Care Program provides reduced rates to rural Health Care Providers (HCPs) for telecommunication services related to the use of telemedicine and telehealth. The School and Libraries┬áprogram provides eligible schools and libraries with discounts and eligible telecommunication services (ranging from 20% to 90%) depending on economic need and location (urban or rural). For more information, visit the FCC’s website at www.fcc.gov.

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