Thursday, June 15, 2006

CTIA Presses for Traffic Studies to Determine USF Contributions

Heather Forsgren Weaver writes on RCR Wireless News:

Wireless industry trade association CTIA continued to press the Federal Communications Commission to allow its members to use studies to determine long distance vs. local traffic and thus how much they owe in universal-service fund contributions. CTIA’s statements came as the FCC confirmed it will consider the issue at its meeting Wednesday.

The universal-service fund system was set up in the 1930s to bring telecom services to high-cost areas by using a portion of long-distance revenues. Today, carriers contribute 10.9 percent of their long-distance revenues to the universal-service fund. Since wireless carriers have a difficult time calculating what percentage of revenues come from long-distance, the government uses an estimate (or a safe harbor) set today at 28.5 percent of all revenues. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has proposed increasing this estimate to 37.1 percent. What is unclear is whether wireless carriers will be able to use traffic studies to determine their actual contribution amount rather than using the safe-harbor amount.

More here.


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