[VoiceOps] USF and Minimum Billing

Faisal Imtiaz faisal at snappytelecom.net
Thu Dec 3 10:59:03 EST 2015

Hmm..... While the point may be arguable, but they are not wrong in doing so.

There are different ways to look at this, your point of view is that they billed you a minimum commit fee.
I bet you anything, that their point of view is that you committed to buying a certain base level of service, irrespective of usage..
(Think of it in a manner similar to how one would sell to a end user un-limited service.. e.g. it is $20 for the month, if you use it or not is not our concern).

In the depth of regulatory details and clarifications, taxing authorities look at contract termination fees (or fees associated with meeting contract requirements) as being part of the revenues for  providing that service. It is also common accounting practice to treat it as such.


Faisal Imtiaz
Snappy Internet & Telecom
7266 SW 48 Street
Miami, FL 33155
Tel: 305 663 5518 x 232

Help-desk: (305)663-5518 Option 2 or Email: Support at Snappytelecom.net

----- Original Message -----
> From: "Peter Beckman" <beckman at angryox.com>
> To: "voiceops at voiceops.org" <voiceops at voiceops.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, December 2, 2015 9:23:39 PM
> Subject: [VoiceOps] USF and Minimum Billing

> Hey Folks --
> I've got a carrier to which I've made a minimum commitment. I didn't get
> around to getting my spend up to the commit, and when my contract renewed,
> they billed me a minimum commit fee. Understandable, and I'm fine paying
> it. I didn't get anything for it -- zero telecom-related services.
> However, they also charged the USF percentage on the minimum fee.
> The Language from the FCC leads me to believe that this carrier's
> assessment of the USF on minimum billing is incorrect and illegal, as that
> fee is not interstate nor international end-user revenues. For specific
> detail, FCC Form 499-Q item 115 clearly states that the USF is to be
> taxed on:
> "Telecommunications provided to other universal service contributors for
> resale as telecommunications or as interconnected VoIP"
> The minimum fee is not telecommunications.
> Additionally Form 499-A for Line 418 states:
> "Line 418. — Other revenues that should not be reported in the contribution
> bases; Non-interconnected VoIP Revenues. Line 418 should include all
> non-telecommunications service revenues on the filer’s books, as well as
> some revenues that are derived from telecommunications-related functions,
> but that should not be included in the universal service or other fund
> contribution bases. For example, information services offering a capability
> for generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving,
> utilizing, or making available information via telecommunications are not
> included in the universal service or other fund contribution bases."
> Anyone else experience this? Or have any background? I do not believe the
> carrier should charge me nor pay the FCC the USF on non-telecom fees.
> Any Telecom lawyers out there?
> Beckman
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Peter Beckman                                                  Internet Guy
> beckman at angryox.com                                 http://www.angryox.com/
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
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