USF surcharge factor reaches yet another record high
Last week, the Federal Communications Commission officially announced that the Universal Service Fund contribution factor – the percentage surcharge that appears each month as a line item on your bills for telecom services – would be set at an all-time high of 17.9% for the first quarter of 2012.
For the companies that follow this issue closely, the increase, however unwelcome, didn’t come as a complete shock. The USF contribution factor has been on a steady upward trajectory for the better part of a decade. (Here’s a quick flashback: the factor for the first quarter of 2002 was set at a now seemingly quaint 6.8%.) So, another quarterly increase in the contribution factor was hardly surprising given the obvious trend line that has developed over the past ten years.